University of Rhode Island Nurse Practitioner Students Gain Real-Life Experience With Young Patients

University of Rhode Island Nurse Practitioner Students Gain Real-Life Experience With Young Patients

Nursing students from the University of Rhode Island (URI) Nurse Practitioner programs are gaining experience with young patients thanks to a new volunteer opportunity. Taking what they’ve learned in the classroom into the exam room, the students have spent a few recent Saturday mornings at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center performing full physicals on volunteer children.

These students are enrolled in the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs. The children have been recruited from among friends and family to take part in the exercise where the nursing students interviewed the patients and their parents to gather a full medical and family history, then conducted a comprehensive physical exam.

Twenty URI students took part in the program, which allowed them to apply lessons learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios. Denise Coppa, associate professor and director of Advanced Practice for the College, monitored the exams by video in an adjoining room, allowing her to provide immediate feedback on the students’ performance.

Coppa tells, “This gives the students great practice on compiling a patient’s history, conducting a physical exam and developing a full assessment of that patient. They benefit from practicing the physical exam as well as working on their communication skills with a patient. It gives the students real-world experience they can take with them.”

To learn more about how University of Rhode Island nurse practitioner students are gaining real-world experience with young patients, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Student Bethany Moore Designs College Experience to Serve Those Close to Home

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Student Bethany Moore Designs College Experience to Serve Those Close to Home

Our Nurse of the Week is Bethany Moore, a senior nursing student in the School of Nursing and Allied Health (SONAH) at Western Kentucky University (WKU), who has designed her college experience to allow her to receive her nursing degree while serving those closer to home. Her home is just across the border in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and she hopes to return there to work as a registered nurse after graduation.

Moore tells, “The number one reason I chose WKU was because of the nursing program. They are well known for preparing their students for a successful career, and WKU was close enough to my hometown, without being too close.”

WKU’s nursing curriculum allows students to participate in simulations that imitate real-life situations and allow students to apply their classroom knowledge and build their skills. It also leaves room for error, allowing students to problem solve and make educated decisions for their patient in a simulated environment.

Moore currently works in a hospital as a nursing intern and has already applied her knowledge to real-life situations. She had a patient who had developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and had just completed a simulation with the same scenario a week before. Applying the knowledge and skills she gained in the simulation setting, Moore felt confident in contributing to the care of her patient in the real-world setting.

Moore hopes to continue her education in the future, to work toward a specialization in neonatal and pediatric care. To learn more about WKU senior nursing student Bethany Moore who designed her college experience to allow her to receive her nursing degree while serving those closer to home, visit here.

A Nursing Shortage and More: Three Ways the Aging Population Is Affecting the Profession

A Nursing Shortage and More: Three Ways the Aging Population Is Affecting the Profession

Baby boomers – the generation born immediately after World War II – have left their mark on the US and will undoubtedly leave their mark on the future of the nursing profession as they enter retirement age. According to the US Census, by 2030 all members of this generation will be 70 years and older. As this large segment of the population ages and starts to utilize more medical care, many predict this will increasingly burden and stress the healthcare industry. Here are a few ways the aging population will impact the nursing profession.  

1. Magnifying the forthcoming nursing shortage

More patients are in need of acute and chronic care management than ever before, and there are fewer experienced nurses to do the job. Due to advances in modern medicine and care management, many of these individuals are expected to be living longer with multiple chronic comorbidities; in the next ten years, the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries living with three or more chronic conditions will reach 40%. The increased complexity of care associated with chronic care management means that not only will this large population begin requiring more geriatric services, but it will also likely require care for a longer period of time. This will demand an increase in health care providers, which will only further exacerbate the acute and post-acute nursing shortage.

Included in this aging and retiring population are nurses themselves. Research indicates that by 2030, one million nurses will retire. This exodus of skilled nursing professionals due to retirement is projected to occur at precisely the worst time – the nursing shortage will be at its height just as a large population segment will begin requiring care.

To make matters worse, research shows that the nursing workforce is already well below the recommended amount of baccalaureate and doctoral prepared-nurses in the workforce – which indicates that it is highly unlikely these nurses will be able to fill all the shoes of their predecessors.

2. Generating higher volumes of burnout and turnover rates

As acute and post-acute facilities become inundated with the ailments of an aging population, facilities will struggle to fill shifts with a shrinking workforce. Rather than operate under-staffed and risk being caught out of compliance, facilities will be forced to mandate their internal nurses to work overtime to cover the gaps in their schedule. Unfortunately, this is a temporary fix and not a long-term cure. These internal nurses will inevitably become exhausted and overworked – and that’s where burnout sets in and staff turnover accelerates.

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) finally recognized “burnout” as an official medical diagnosis after decades of debate. Someone with burnout typically experiences feelings of irritability, exhaustion, and a checked-out mentality. Shockingly, one-third of nurses in the US already report experiencing burnout. This does not bode well for the nurse or the patient, as exhaustion and disengagement from their job leads to poor patient experiences and an increase in mistakes.

Further compounding the nursing shortage is an increase in turnover. An RN Network study found that 50% of nurses have considered leaving their profession, citing burnout as a critical reason. Turnover makes it more difficult to safely staff, which places a burden on internal staff and can negatively impact the patient experience. It can also be costly to facilities: between the extra cost of overtime, loss of organizational knowledge, and decreased productivity, studies have estimated that turnover costs facilities anywhere from $22,000 to $64,000, per nurse.

3. Setting the scene for new ways of nursing to emerge

If nurses are to remain in the profession, and patients are to receive adequate care, facilities need to find new ways to manage their workforce.

One innovative change currently underway is the emergence of the gig economy in the healthcare space. The gig economy – and gig work – fosters the freedom and flexibility for nurses to build their own schedule. Accepting shift opportunities via staffing apps is much like an Uber driver accepting requests from a user looking for a ride. This model allows nurses to build their work schedule around their own personal schedule, not the other way around, and be able to decide for themselves if they want to work overtime or cut back on shifts to take care of their own health.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a viable tool to help augment the workforce. Some hospitals have already implemented robots that were built to complete nurses’ tasks that required precision but did not require the human touch. These tasks have allowed nurses to spend less time dispensing medication, and more time checking in on patient’s well-being.

While these technologies are a promising start for the profession, there is much more that can be done to combat the nursing shortage amidst the US’s aging population. Over the next decade, the facilities that embrace workforce flexibility and technology-driven change will put themselves in the best position to overcome these challenges.

Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C is Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer at IntelyCare

Frontier Nursing University President Dr. Susan Stone Inducted Into National Academy of Medicine

Frontier Nursing University President Dr. Susan Stone Inducted Into National Academy of Medicine

Frontier Nursing University (FNU) president Dr. Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, was recently inducted into the National Academy of Medicine, one of only two nurses out of the 85 new inductees and the only inductee from Kentucky.

Being elected into the Academy is one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine. It aims to recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Stone’s membership was accepted due to her distinguished professional achievement in the fields of medicine and health, and her continued involvement in healthcare issues including disease prevention, education, and research. Her election recognizes Dr. Stone’s achievement in opening the door for more than 6,000 nurses to graduate and positively impact the accessibility of quality health care for rural families across the United States.

Dr. Stone tells, “The National Academy of Medicine offers an incredible opportunity to work collaboratively with leaders from a wide range of medical professions and disciplines. It is a tremendous honor to join this organization which is so deeply committed to improving health care.”

Dr. Stone is also a leader in developing strategies to increase the quality and capacity of midwifery and advanced practice nursing with a specific goal of improving health care for families. Since being appointed president of FNU, Dr. Stone has led the transition from a community-based school of nurse-midwifery offering a basic certificate program to an accredited university offering masters and doctoral degrees. Dr. Stone also serves as President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

To learn more about Frontier Nursing University president Dr. Stone who was recently inducted into the National Academy of Medicine, visit here

Gallup’s 2019 “Most Trusted Professions” Poll Once Again Rates Nurses #1

Gallup’s 2019 “Most Trusted Professions” Poll Once Again Rates Nurses #1

For the 18th year in a row, Americans have rated the honesty and ethics of nurses highest among a list of professions that Gallup asks U.S. adults to assess annually.

In 2019 nursing once again topped the poll, with nurses ranking 19% ahead of engineers and 20% ahead of doctors. The results—85% of responses display regard for nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high”—show that over four out of five Americans still regard nursing as the most trustworthy among the major professions.

Compared to other professions, the trust ranking for nurses is now 31% above police officers, 45% above clergy, and 57% above journalists in this year’s poll. Among the other professions included in the poll, there is finally some good news for members of Congress—who from last year’s 8% trust rating have leapt ahead to 12%. As a result, congressional representatives have been nudged out of last place for 2019 by car salespeople, who are now trusted by only 9% of Americans polled. For more details, visit the Gallup site.

Jacquelyn Campbell Develops Intimate-Partner Violence Risk Assessment Training for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Jacquelyn Campbell Develops Intimate-Partner Violence Risk Assessment Training for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), has created the Danger Assessment, a groundbreaking instrument that effectively assesses the risk of an abused woman to be seriously injured or killed by her intimate partner. JHSON has signed a licensing agreement with the Veterans Administration (VA), now offering all VA clinical staff access to the Danger Assessment training.

Campbell led a training session on how to the use the instrument for 800 members of the VA’s clinical staff nationwide. VA employees can also access the training online to obtain certification and increase the amount of staff competent in the use of this evidence-based assessment. 

LeAnn Bruce, PhD, national program manager of the VA’s Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP), tells, “The VA recognizes the Danger Assessment as the gold standard of lethality assessments. This training partnership will result in the development of a cadre of clinicians throughout all VA medical centers who are extensively trained to effectively support the mission to provide ongoing education and have the means to identify those who are at risk so safety planning and intervention can be provided.”

According to Dr. Campbell, research comparing the prevalence of domestic violence/intimate partner violence between the general population and veterans is limited but studies suggest combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD have a higher prevalence of intimate partner violence than those who have not been diagnosed. The concern with intimate partner violence among veterans is not just about the prevalence but also with its potential to exacerbate other problems that veterans often face, including physical and mental well-being, homelessness, and risk of suicide and homicide.

The Danger Assessment includes a calendar to help assess the severity and frequency of battering in the past year and a 20-item instrument that uses a weighted system to score yes/no responses to risk factors associated with intimate partner homicide, including past death threats, partner’s employment status, and access to a gun. The Danger Assessment is freely available to the public but the weighted scoring instructions are reserved for individuals who have been trained and certified in the use of the Danger Assessment.  

To learn more about Johns Hopkins Nursing professor Jacquelyn Campbell’s Danger Assessment for assessing risk of intimate partner violence, visit here.

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