Nurse Researcher Kasey Jordan: School Nurses are Key to Promoting Resilience in School Settings

Nurse Researcher Kasey Jordan: School Nurses are Key to Promoting Resilience in School Settings

Nurse researcher and educator Kasey Jordan, RN, PhD knows the stereotypical image of a school nurse – overworked, underpaid and, over the past two years, often on the front lines of controversial COVID policies.

And while those things are true, they aren’t the complete picture, says this Nurse of the Week.

“We don’t always present them as these strong, capable expert professionals that they are,” she said.

The same could be said for nursing in general – or for any traditionally “female” job. But Jordan sees the power in the interpersonal connections that nurses build with their patients and, from that, their capacity to create community change.

“If we’re serious about having better patient outcomes for society, then it’s areas in which the traditional nursing role can lead that really, I think, have a lot of potential to make a big difference. Things from communication to health promotion to what happens outside of that time when people are sick,” she said.

School nurses as “change-makers”

The possibilities inherent in nursing have inspired Jordan ever since she accidentally ended up in a nursing class in high school in rural Georgia.

“In high school, there were vocational classes that we took with all the other classes, and I wanted home ec, but I got stuck in health occupations against my will. Well, it stuck, and it really resonated with me,” Jordan said. “I ended up including those classes as part of my program of study, and I did an apprenticeship program with a local family practice and just never looked back.”

Even with the limited work that a high school apprentice could take on, she felt a meaningful engagement with patients and saw the role that the nurses played in their patients’ health journeys.

Jordan went on to study nursing with the expectation that she would be a bedside nurse, but by the time she finished her program, she knew she wanted to be in public health. Her first nursing job was in the cardiothoracic unit at Duke University Hospital to gain experience. Then she worked at the health department for a time before taking a job in the emergency department so she could complete an internship while earning her master’s degree.

Through the public health department, she spent a year and a half as a school nurse in Durham, North Carolina, at five alternative schools, each geared toward a different student population that needed extra attention.

“Every school had its own flavor,” she recalled.

Yet she also started to see constraints in the system.

One small example: The alternative schools were well-connected to mental health and behavioral resources for the students. But Jordan saw that some students weren’t having truly basic needs met, like good nutrition, decent sleep and adequate physical movement. Jordan approached an administrator about this, and the answer was, “Well, there’s no grant funding for that.”

“It was like, there’s all these high-level treatments that are so valuable. But then there’s also these basic processes that are so impactful on our outcomes. And it was sometimes harder to work on those things,” she said.

In both public health and school nursing, Jordan found herself surrounded by “incredibly smart people with great ideas” who faced numerous obstacles in bringing those ideas to fruition.

“That core challenge is really what led me to go back for my Ph.D. and what, in different ways, I’ve tried to explore since then,” she said.

Now an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at MUSC, Jordan focuses on innovation management. She especially values how school nurses and other health care providers find ways to develop resilience in communities and address disaster risk.

“What I’m most excited about is nurses and health professionals finding ways to make our communities more resilient to disaster. School nurses are incredible change-makers, and so are our students,” she said.

For instance, students in the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing classes are learning the change-making skills that school nurses often learn, by necessity, on the job, Jordan explained.

Innovative projects the ABSN students have tackled recently included a podcast geared toward mental health challenges during the pandemic and support for educators to understand how COVID-related changes could affect student health.

School nurses play key role in community resilience

Jordan noted, too, that local disaster response requires flexibility to adapt to specific circumstances, and that’s where she’s interested in seeing who’s doing what.

“If you consider disaster response, there’s this piece of improvisation that is in it. It’s such a fascinating area, and school nurses have been on the ground improvising to meet these needs,” she said. “It’s really inspiring – and important to understand.”

“So much of responding to disaster is locally driven,” she continued. “So understanding what professionals in community spaces need is important.”

Jordan said she loves seeing school nurses who understand how comprehensive the role can be and are pushing expectations of what they’re there to do.

“One of the amazing gifts of school nursing practice, because you are outside the traditional system, is there is so much freedom and independence,” she said.

On the other hand, that requires skills that nurses don’t necessarily come equipped with. Unlike nurses in a health care setting, school nurses may need to be more entrepreneurial to “sell” innovations related to health.

“School nurses really have to build their teams and raise whatever kind of capital is needed – social or financial – to see their changes move forward,” Jordan explained.

While there’s general agreement that addressing health and physical needs will ultimately help with academic outcomes, Jordan said, the rub is the school nurses actually have to negotiate to get what’s necessary to address that health. That’s where those skills of teambuilding in a multidisciplinary environment come into play.

“There’s good evidence that school nurses are a great return on community investment, but I think there is more to tell about the community resilience they are building that is outside the traditional expectations of what school nurses have done,” she said.

In follow-up to a previous study she conducted, Jordan is currently looking at how school nurses are leading resilience-promoting change in school settings.

Since coming to South Carolina, Jordan has been working with the South Carolina Association of School Nurses to determine what subject areas need more research to help nurses in schools. That’s how she came to do an analysis of continuing education needs for school nurses, which led to her examining how school nurses are leading resilience-promoting change in school settings.

Throughout her journey, one fascinating thing that she has discovered is that innovation can come from anywhere.

“There’s not a single profile of an innovator,” she said. “It’s something that happens in all parts of an organization. But definitely there are skills we can learn to make it more effective.”

Earning BSN Helped Nurse Spread Wings and Take Off

Earning BSN Helped Nurse Spread Wings and Take Off

A common reason people return to college is to advance their education and their careers. It was the main reason for Jason Herman, BSN, RN, too. But he didn’t just advance in his career. He reached new heights — literally.

His degree from Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation served as a stepping stone to landing his dream job as a flight nurse last year.

In 2018, Herman graduated from Edson College’s RN to BSN program. He was already a registered nurse, but in order to work at his desired hospital, he needed to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

“After graduating from Edson College, I worked as a staff nurse in the emergency department at Augusta University Medical Center (AUMC), a Level I trauma center,” Herman said.

He continued pursuing his education, this time enrolling in a master’s degree program. It was during his time at AUMC that he learned they’d planned to start a helicopter emergency medical service program. He applied, and in 2021 was offered a position on the inaugural flight crew.

He’s since graduated with a Master of Science in nursing and had the opportunity to compete in a clinical challenge at the Air Medical Transport Conference.

“It’s a clinical-based interaction where teams of two respond to challenging situations that test clinical knowledge, critical thinking skills, teamwork, communication and situational awareness. We competed in the scene flight track against 25 other teams. My coworker and I placed first in the competition and were invited back this year to defend our title,” he said.

Herman recently spoke of his BSN journey, the impact it has had on him, and the importance of going after your dreams.

On the value of completing an RN to BSN degree program:

” [It] helped me achieve my current job by serving as a stepping stone in the path to further education. Without a BSN, I would not have qualified to work at Augusta University Medical Center, due to their pursuit to obtain magnet status, which requires nurses to be bachelor-prepared. My position at AUMC gave me the opportunity to become a flight nurse with the AirCare program.” [Aspiring flight nurses should check the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing Certified Flight RN details].

A faculty member with experience as a military flight nurse helped Jason set his course: 

In a history of nursing class, “My instructor was a flight nurse in the military during her active-duty career. She shared photos of flights she had taken and her work environment. This solidified my dream to become a flight nurse.”

On working full-time while enrolled in an RN to BSN program:

While it can be “difficult to work full time while being a full-time student,” Herman says, “the completion of the RN to BSN program will open doors for you that you never thought were possible.” One of the biggest challenges he faced was pursuing his BSN while his wife was in medical school. Herman recalls, “I was working full time as an emergency department staff nurse and going to school full time. Trying to provide for my family emotionally and financially while pursuing a bachelor’s degree was no easy task.” Fortunately, “ASU allowed me to obtain my degree while still having a manageable work-life balance.”

 

Five Basic Duties You’ll be Most Likely to Perform as a Nurse

Five Basic Duties You’ll be Most Likely to Perform as a Nurse

Nurses are the ties that bind together the healthcare journey of a patient. They work relentlessly to care and advocate for individuals suffering from illnesses and getting through the whole health and wellness journey.

As highly skilled professionals, the majority of nurses possess a diverse skill set and a diverse range of tasks that change according to the patient. Thus, if you are beginning your nursing career or considering becoming one, knowing the typical nursing duties that nurses do on a daily basis may benefit you.

The Basics of Nursing Care

While a nurse’s daily duties may vary depending on the location, education, and degree of certification, there are certain commonalities among these distinct nursing positions. Understanding what a nurse’s typical daily duty entails will help you truly realize how crucial their role in patient care is. As a nurse, your responsibility will vary depending on your certification and education, along with your place of employment or area of expertise, but there are certain duties that almost every nurse performs during a typical shift.

Moreover, there is no better way to see if your abilities and career aspirations are compatible with everyday activities than by reading more about these five day-to-day typical nursing responsibilities.

1. Administering medication

Whenever a doctor prescribes a medication for a patient to intake, whether in a clinical or hospital setting, it’s rarely the doctor who goes and engages directly with the patient to administer such medication. In most cases they send the prescription to a nurse, often an RN, to visit the patient and provide the given prescription drug. (An LVN can also administer medications, as can an LPN if supervised by an RN. If you’re a CNA—a Certified Nursing Assistant—you won’t actually administer meds, but you might well be the one who persuades a patient to take them).

Nurses may have to consult pharmacists before administering medications. Additionally, they may be expected to contact pharmacies on account of physicians to acquire prescriptions for patients to be taken at home. (Patients often use a discount card when obtaining the given medication in order to lessen the expense).

2. Recording and monitoring patient vital signs

Have you ever been hospitalized? Either way, you might have seen or witnessed a nurse performing their rounds, taking and monitoring either your vital signs or not. This is one of the nurse’s typical nursing duties. They are expected to take vital signs on a scheduled basis, documenting them every few hours to maintain a patient’s health.

Maintaining good health requires regular monitoring of one’s vital signs. Thus, nurses have developed considerable expertise in rapidly analyzing a patient’s status, even when the patient is unaware. This is to warn the doctor of any indicators of severe sickness. Any patient interaction is an opportunity for a nurse to assess for indicators of illness or other concerns, which must frequently be documented following observation.

3. Maintaining a detailed medical record

Each time a nurse goes and checks on a patient provides medication, assists with basic hygiene tasks, or performs a wellness check. Every engagement must be documented. With this, it is evident how vital medical records are to patient care.

Maintaining a complete and thorough medical record is one of the typical nursing duties. It enables nurses and doctors to provide high-quality care while assuring that care records flow without incident from one work shift to another.

4. Drawing blood samples

One of the skills necessary for a certified nurse is the ability to draw blood samples. Blood samples are taken for various purposes, including testing, operations, and diagnosis. Therefore, Phlebotomy is an essential skill for any nurse to have in order to provide exemplary patient care. While drawing blood is not usually offered in some nursing school programs, several advocate that nursing students should take additional courses to perfect such ability.

Phlebotomy teams often conduct rounds at fixed times in hospital settings; consequently, the nursing staff may be responsible for drawing the blood if a lab test is requested promptly as this is an extended nursing function. Indeed, the majority of Intensive Care Units prefer to hire nurses capable of drawing blood samples.

5. Providing emotional support for patients

Finally, nurses play a critical role in providing emotional support to patients. The healthcare system is frequently frightening for patients, even more so when dealing with significant diseases or accidents. In addition, doctors are restrained by time constraints and may be unable to sit and engage directly with the patients as they process the intensity of their diagnosis.

Nurses have been on the front line of healthcare, and each day brings new challenges with a variety of patients appearing with a variety of different diseases. Moreover, nurses must think quickly and maintain their composure under duress to extend their emotional support to patients and clinical support.

Becoming a nurse

Even the most mundane nursing tasks have meaning for a patient (even paperwork and priming IV tubing!) and all come together to build the unique bond that makes a nurse such a trusted figure. There are a variety of nursing employment and degree certifications available. You can make a difference as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), or a Registered Nurse (RN)—or you can work on a larger scale as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) by becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Doctoral NP (DNP).

 

Congratulations to the 2022 BCEN Distinguished Emergency, Trauma and Critical Care Transport Nurse Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2022 BCEN Distinguished Emergency, Trauma and Critical Care Transport Nurse Award Winners

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for specialty certification across the emergency spectrum, today announced the 2022 winners of the annual, national BCEN Distinguished Awards which recognize one top board certified RN in the following specialties: emergency, pediatric emergency, trauma, flight and critical care ground transport.

“The 2022 BCEN Distinguished Award recipients represent the pinnacle of emergency, trauma and critical care transport nursing excellence,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC. “Their commitment to clinical expertise, professionalism and continuing education through specialty certification inspires their colleagues, elevates their teams, and benefits every patient they touch.”

The 2022 BCEN Distinguished Award honorees are:

  • Distinguished CEN Award (adult/mixed emergency): Nicholas Jazdzewski, BSN, RN, CEN, Emergency Department Staff RN with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Distinguished CPEN Award (pediatric emergency): Jessica Evins, BSN, RN, CPEN, Clinical Nurse III with NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department in New York City.
  • Distinguished TCRN Award (trauma): Shayna Stevens, BSN, RN, TCRN, Trauma Clinician V with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano in Plano, Texas.
  • Distinguished CFRN Award (flight): Abigail Harvey, BSN, RN, CFRN, NREMS-P, Flight RN with Lutheran Health Network in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Distinguished CTRN Award (critical care ground transport): Mackenzie Alexander, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, CTRN, CPEN, Critical Care Transport Nurse with Harris Health System in Houston, Texas.

Read more about each winner in the 2022 BCEN Distinguished Award Meet the Winner series.

New in 2022, honorees will receive a commemorative Distinguished Award pin and access to content on the online BCEN Learn professional development platform valued at $1,500 to support continuing education in their specialty. Pandemic permitting, the recipients will be honored with an in-person celebration at their workplace.

Over 50,000 RNs and advanced practice registered nurses worldwide hold one or more BCEN nursing specialty credential as follows: over 41,000 hold the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), over 5,500 hold the Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN), nearly 7,000 hold the Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN), over 5,200 hold the Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN), and nearly 400 hold the Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN).

The honorees were selected based on their commitment to clinical excellence and professionalism through specialty certification as well as their leadership and innovation in supporting board certification for other nurses in their specialty.

National specialty certification independently validates a nurse’s advanced knowledge, clinical judgment and professionalism across a nursing specialty body of knowledge. Specialty certification is associated with optimal patient outcomes and greater nurse career success and satisfaction.

Nominations for the 2022 BCEN National Certification Champion Awards recognizing organizations committed to specialty nursing excellence will open June 1. Hospital-based and freestanding emergency departments, trauma centers, health systems, and flight and ground transport programs may apply.

Getting Covered: Three Health Insurance Options for Travel Nurses

Getting Covered: Three Health Insurance Options for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses are highly skilled and experienced nurses who fill in staffing shortages at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant shortage of nurses, as many have been sickened or quarantined. Travel nurses help to fill this void and provide much-needed care to patients.

The demand for travel nurses will continue to grow in the coming months. It’s because they’re precious to hospitals during COVID-19 surges. And the pandemic is far from over. Since travel nurses don’t directly work as permanent employees, their contracts are time-limited, and the hospital doesn’t pay for their health insurance. So, what are the options for travel nurses when it comes to health insurance? Here are three.

Short-term health insurance

One excellent health insurance option for travel nurses is short-term health insurance. These policies are designed to cover you for a specific period, which is great if you’re only working in one place for a few months.

These plans are affordable and can be tailored to your specific needs. You can also choose how long you need the coverage, which is excellent if your assignment is shorter or longer than expected.

The flexibility and affordability of short-term health insurance make it an excellent option for travel nurses. If you’re considering this type of policy, compare different plans and find one that fits your needs. You can also talk to a licensed agent to get more information about short-term health insurance.

Comparing plans and talking to an expert are great ways to ensure you get the best coverage for your needs. Or you can use a health insurance lead system to get quotes from different insurers.

However, remember that short-term health plans can deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions and may not cover some essential health benefits, so it’s important to understand your policy before purchasing it.

Individual and family health insurance

ACA-compliant health insurance plans are another excellent option for travel nurses. You can get these insurance plans online through Healthcare.gov or a private insurance company.

These plans will cover you and your family while you’re on assignment, and they’ll usually be much cheaper than getting health insurance through your employer. Just make sure to research and compare prices before buying a plan.

Also, be mindful of the open enrollment period for ACA plans. You can only enroll in these plans during specific times of the year, so make sure you’re aware of the dates. But there are exceptions like:

  • changing jobs
  • switching your coverage area
  • having a baby

These qualifying life events will allow you to enroll in a new ACA plan outside of the open enrollment period. Choosing this insurance plan allows you to control your coverage and keep your family insured while you’re on the road.

Agency-provided health insurance

As mentioned, travel nurses are not permanent workers in the hospital. Instead, an agency contracts them to work for a specific number of weeks or months in a hospital, and then they move on to another assignment.

Many travel nurse agencies offer health insurance to their employees. It’s a great benefit, as it can be difficult and expensive to find your health insurance.

You don’t need to shop around and compare plans, as the agency will usually have a plan that they offer to all of their employees. However, even though this is appealing, the health plan might not be the right insurance for your needs.

Before you accept a position with an agency, make sure to ask about their health insurance policy and whether or not it will meet your needs. You don’t want any surprises down the road!

Also, be sure that you fully understand the policy. Some policies have a waiting period before you’re eligible for coverage, so if you have any health concerns, make sure that you’ll be covered right away.

The last thing you want is to start your new job and then find out that you’re not covered for the care that you need.

Can you get fined for not having health insurance?

Although the tax penalty for not having health insurance has been overruled, some states have enacted their mandates. You can get subjected to a fine in the following states:

  • Washington D.C.
  • Rhode Island
  • New Jersey
  • California

The amount varies by state, but it is typically a percentage of your income or a flat fee. So, if you ever get assigned to work in a hospital located in those states and don’t have health insurance, you could be subject to a fine.

Conclusion

Not everyone has the same health insurance options and needs. Everyone’s plans are unique and different, requiring thoughtful consideration. The same is true for travel nurses. While they may not have many health insurance options, three options stick out. These are short-term health insurance, ACA-compliant plans, and agency-provided health insurance.

Nurses Reflect on Workplace Stress, Safety Concerns in Latest NNU Pandemic Survey

Nurses Reflect on Workplace Stress, Safety Concerns in Latest NNU Pandemic Survey

National Nurses United’s (NNU) new nationwide survey of more than 2,500 registered nurses reveals significant increases in staffing issues, workplace violence, and moral distress compared to NNU’s previous survey results released on Sept. 27, 2021. Hospital RNs also reported that their hospitals are still not adequately prepared for a Covid-19 surge.

This survey is the seventh national survey of nurses during the pandemic by NNU, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing union of registered nurses.

Zenei Cortez, RN, National Nurses United.

Zenei Cortez, RN, President of National Nurses United.

“We are now more than three years into the pandemic and not only is staffing worse, but workplace violence is increasing,” said Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN and a president of National Nurses United. “Nurses are experiencing alarming levels of moral distress and moral injury due to the unsafe working conditions. Since our last survey in September 2021, even more nurses have reported feeling more stress and anxiety as well as feeling traumatized by their experiences caring for patients.

“In addition, many nurses reported that their hospitals do not have surge plans or enough personal protective equipment in stock to protect staff during a surge,” said Triunfo-Cortez.

“It is unconscionable that some RNs are still reusing single-use PPE and putting their health and well-being at risk.

“Despite these challenges, nurses have continued to fight for safe working conditions and patient safety and they are organizing,” said Triunfo-Cortez. “During the pandemic, nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, and Longmont United Hospital in Longmont, Colorado, organized and voted to join affiliates of National Nurses United. We have also been strongly advocating for federal RN-to-patient ratios legislation and for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a permanent standard to protect nurses and other health care workers from Covid-19 in the workplace.”

Here are the responses from 2,575 nurses, gathered from both NNU union nurses and nonunion nurses in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. The results cover the period Feb. 2, 2022 to March 20, 2022.

Staffing Issues

Hospital RNs reported that staffing is worse: 69 percent reported that staffing has gotten slightly or much worse recently, a 20.2 percent increase from NNU’s September 2021 survey and a 47.8 percent increase from our March 2021 survey.

More than a quarter of nurses (26.5 percent) reported being “floated” or reassigned to care for patients in a clinical care area that required new skills or was outside of their competency, up from 17.8 percent reported in September 2021. Meanwhile, 46 percent of hospital RNs reported that they did not receive any education or preparation before being floated to units outside of their expertise, up from 44.3 percent reported in Sept. 2021.

Excessive overtime and use of travel nurses:

  • 64.5 percent of hospital nurses reported that their facilities are using excessive overtime to staff units, up from 49.3 percent, a significant increase from our September survey.
  • 72.3 percent hospital RNs reported an increase in the use of travel nurses in the prior month.

Workplace violence on the rise

Nearly half of hospital nurses (48 percent) reported a small or significant increase in workplace violence, up from 30.6 percent in September 2021 and 21.9 percent in our March 2021 survey. This is a nearly 57 percent increase from September 2021 and a 119 percent increase from March 2021.

Alarming evidence of moral distress and mental health

Covid-19 is still having a deep impact on the mental health of hospital nurses, who continue to face moral distress and moral injury at work. There are significant increases in all of the mental health impacts reported in our September 2021 survey.

  • 66.8 percent of hospital RNs fear they will contract Covid, a 59.4 percent increase from September.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74.6 percent) are afraid they will infect a family member, a 47.4 percent increase from September.
  • Nearly 60 percent (58.4 percent) are having more difficulty sleeping, a 66.4 percent increase from September.
  • 83.5 percent feel stressed more often than before the pandemic, a 56.1 percent increase.
  • 77.2 percent feel anxious more often than they did before the pandemic, a 53.2 percent increase from September.
  • 68.7 percent feel sad or depressed more often than they did before the pandemic, a 64.6 percent increase from September.
  • More than half (56 percent) feel traumatized by their experiences caring for patients, a 65.7 percent increase from September.
  • 23 percent sought treatment for a mental health condition related to caring for patients during the pandemic, a whopping 87 percent increase from September.

Personal protective equipment

  • Only 71.8 percent of hospital RNs reported wearing a respirator for every Covid-positive patient encounter, up from 60.8 percent in our September 2021 survey. Meanwhile, 62 percent of hospital RNs reported having to reuse single-use PPE, an unsafe practice.
  • Only 32 percent of hospital nurses report that their employer has sufficient PPE stock to protect staff from a rapid Covid surge. (For more on surge plans, see “Surge preparedness” section below.)

Exposure, testing, and screening

  • Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of hospital RNs reported that their employer notifies them of Covid exposures in a timely manner. Meanwhile, 29 percent of hospital RNs reported that nurses are informed of exposures but not in a timely fashion. Prompt notification is essential for infection control.
  • Access to testing is still an issue at some hospitals: 17.8 percent of RNs report that access to testing has declined since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Only 56.8 percent of hospital RNs report that every patient is screened for recent exposure history to covid, down from 61.7 percent in our September survey. Screening of visitors has also gone down since our last survey: 48.6 percent of hospital nurses reported that all visitors are screened for Covid signs and symptoms at their facility, down from 52.7 percent in our September survey.
  • Only 23.8 percent of hospital RNs report that every visitor is screened for recent Covid exposure history at their facility, down from 38.5 percent in our September survey.

Woefully inadequate surge preparedness

Only 24 percent of hospital RNs reported that their employer has an overflow plan to place additional, trained staff to safely care for Covid patients on isolation. This is a decrease from our first Covid survey in March 2020 when 29 percent reported that there was a plan in place to isolate patients with possible novel coronavirus infection.

Previous surveys

In 2020, NNU’s four surveys covered hospitals’ lack of preparedness for Covid-19 (March); government and employers’ disregard for nurse and patient safety (May); the devastating impact of reopening too soon (July); and hospitals’ and health care employers’ lack of preparation for the fall/winter surge, despite more knowledge about the dangers of the virus and effective measures to prevent spread (November). In 2021, NNU’s March 2021 survey highlighted the continuing disregard of hospitals and health care employers for the safety of nurses and health care workers. The September 2021 survey revealed that employers must do more to be fully compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration emergency temporary standard to protect nurses and other health care workers.

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