Nationwide Shortage of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Prompts Alternative Solutions from States

Nationwide Shortage of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Prompts Alternative Solutions from States

The US is experiencing a nationwide shortage of sexual assault nurse examiners, forcing many states to find their own solutions.

According to beckershospitalreview.com, a 2016 study conducted by the US Government Accountability Office analyzed six states and found that the number of sexual assault nurse examiners in those states did not meet the demand for exams, especially in rural areas.

Women often have to travel to find a sexual assault nurse examiner to collect physical evidence of their assault. In a case in 2014, one woman went to the hospital after being raped, but found there wasn’t a trained sexual assault nurse examiner available to help her. She went to another hospital 30 minutes away the next day, but prosecutors later cited the delay in collecting evidence as the reason they didn’t charge her attacker.

After hearing this story, US Senator Patty Murray introduced the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act in 2016, which would fund state-level surveys to identify areas with the biggest shortages of sexual assault nurse examiners, increase access to sexual assault nurse examiner training, and establish national standards of care for sexual assault victims. This legislation has been introduced every year since 2016, but has not yet passed.

Other states are looking for alternatives to ensure rape victims have access to adequately trained nurses as well. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health used a federal grant to set up a national telenursing center which allows sexual assault nurse examiners to consult via video with clinicians in rural, tribal, and naval hospitals. In 2019, Illinois passed a law that requires rape victims to be seen by sexual assault nurse examiners within 90 minutes of their arrival to a hospital, which will take effect in 2022.

To learn more about how states are working to find their own solutions to the nationwide shortage of sexual assault nurse examiners, visit here.

Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive Fellowship Program Established to Enhance Development of Senior Nurse Executives

Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive Fellowship Program Established to Enhance Development of Senior Nurse Executives

An innovative five-part program to enhance and expand the development of senior nurse executive leaders has announced that it will be welcoming its first incoming class of nurse executives in August 2020. The program, titled the Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive Fellowship Program, was developed by the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in partnership with the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL), and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

The new program will empower nurse leaders to make healthcare more patient-centered, cost effective, accessible, and quality-driven. The curriculum will cover quality and safety competencies, care coordination, wellness, public communication, executive presence, financial acumen, and understanding and leading change.

ANA President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, tells globenewswire.com, “The American Nurses Association is proud to partner with the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, AONL and HFMA on this important initiative. Nurse leaders are integral players in not only the delivery of quality patient care, but also operational excellence across diverse health care settings. The Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive Fellowship Program is a testament to the power of nursing and nurses’ role as change agents in health care. ANA looks forward to welcoming the first incoming class of nurse executives.”

Applications for the fellowship program are available online for nurse executives with at least five years of experience at the most senior level in health services, public health, and community-based organizations or systems, as well as professional, governmental, and policy organizations. The inaugural session in Cleveland will be three days long, followed by sessions to be held in Atlanta, Washington, DC, and Cleveland over a 15-month period.

HFMA President and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, stated in a press release: “We are pleased to partner with our nursing colleagues to leverage the strengths each organization brings to professional development. Interprofessional collaboration promotes better leadership, and better leadership is the key to delivering safe, effective high-quality care.”

To learn more about Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive Fellowship Program, an innovative five-part program to enhance and expand the development of senior nurse executive leaders, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: UW-Madison Nursing Student Marcela Hanson Crowdsources Childcare Help For Local Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Nurse of the Week: UW-Madison Nursing Student Marcela Hanson Crowdsources Childcare Help For Local Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Our Nurse of the Week is Marcela Hanson, a senior nursing student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison) who used her time during the COVID-19 pandemic to help others. After being barred from all in-person healthcare settings, Hanson and other UW-Madison nursing students found a way to help their local healthcare professionals through crowdsourcing.

UW Health decided to bar students from going into rooms at the hospital that require personal protective equipment back in February, during what was already a heavy flu season. Fast-spreading COVID-19 only made things worse, forcing the nursing school to move all learning to an online format, and ending students’ interactions with real patients, despite hospitals needing more help than ever.

Hanson works as a University Hospital nursing assistant while taking classes. She learned through a colleague that many health care workers were struggling to balance work and childcare after schools were shuttered to slow the outbreak of COVID-19. This sparked an idea for Hanson: she and her fellow nursing students could watch the children, since they would remain in Madison for their nursing classes.

Hanson shared the idea on her class’s Facebook page and received an unexpectedly strong response. She created a spreadsheet with the name and contact information for the nursing students willing to help and sent it to every nurse and physician she knows.

To learn more about the UW-Madison nursing students who crowdsourced childcare help for local healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit here.

University of Wisconsin Health Expands Nurse Residency Program

University of Wisconsin Health Expands Nurse Residency Program

The University of Wisconsin Health (UW Health) recently announced it will be expanding its nurse residency program due to a state and national shortage of nurses. UW Health will increase its recruiting efforts to cope with the rising demand.

UW Health’s nurse residency program takes one year to complete and is comprised of groups of 20-40 nurse residents who have graduated from an accredited nursing program. Residents are used to fill vacant spots left by retired nurses as well as to fill new positions.

Program Manager Kim McPhee tells uwhealth.org, “We’ve really tried to be proactive, so that we don’t feel the shortages as much as some other sites have felt…Before we had this nurse residency program, we were experiencing what everyone experienced around the country, where up to 60 percent of new graduate nurses left the profession in the first year. That’s a huge concern.”

The UW Health nurse residency program is one of 29 programs recognized by the Certified Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The residency program has hired over 2,000 nurses in the past 13 years, accounting for two-thirds of the current UW Health staff.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for registered nurses will increase 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, from 2.9 million registered nurses in the workforce to 3.4 million nurses. They also project that 203,700 registered nurses will be needed annually to carry out new positions and replace retiring ones.

The UW Health nurse residency program currently holds 3,152 nurses and added 572 nurses in 2019. The most recent class of resident nurses graduated in February.

To learn more about UW Health’s announcement to expand its nurse residency program to meet increased demand in the state and nationwide, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: U of A Nursing Student Seth Cobb Encourages Community Among Fellow Veterans

Nurse of the Week: U of A Nursing Student Seth Cobb Encourages Community Among Fellow Veterans

Our Nurse of the Week is Seth Cobb, a nursing student at the University of Arkansas (U of A) who is using his position on campus to encourage a sense of community among fellow veterans.

Cobb’s calling to become a nurse began when he was an Army medic with the 82nd Airborne Division. After four years in the Army, Cobb decided to move home to Arkansas and pursue his passion. He says his military service taught him that building a bright future requires initiative. Cobb still remains part of the military, serving in the Individual Ready Reserves.

Cobb tells news.uark.edu, “My service as a medic cemented that dream and showed me that I had found what I wanted to do with my life. I have never gotten as much fulfillment from life as I did when helping my fellow soldiers through medicine.”

In his second semester of nursing school, Cobb faced unexpected circumstances that nearly forced him to drop out. In 2019, a family member facing an urgent financial hardship forced Cobb to start working full time to help. But then he was awarded the Mike and Cindy Bonds Advance Arkansas Scholarship that same month, allowing him to refocus on schoolwork and his dream of becoming a nurse.

Now, Cobb is helping others on the U of A campus. He’s the president of the Razorback Student Veterans organization, which helps student veterans transition to civilian life. Cobb is especially focused on connectivity and service, inspired by the high suicide rate among veterans. He is committed to growing a rich community among the veterans at U of A and in their local community, to ensure a support system for his fellow veterans.

According to news.uark.edu, Cobb stated in a press release: “We aim to alleviate some of their challenges by providing a peer group they can relate to, while also giving them an outlet to continue the service they built their lives on in the military though volunteering and service projects here at home.”

To learn more about Seth Cobb, a nursing student at U of A who is using his position on campus to encourage a sense of community among fellow veterans, visit here.

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