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 newswise.com, “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.

VA Secretary Prioritizes Job Vacancies By Offering Financial Incentives

VA Secretary Prioritizes Job Vacancies By Offering Financial Incentives

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has roughly 49,000 vacancies in its workforce. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie announced to Capitol Hill that the VA is combating this shortage by offering financial incentives to prioritize hiring professionals in mental health, women’s health, and primary care.

Wilkie chose to focus the agency’s hiring efforts on mental health, women’s health, and primary care because they are of the greatest demand in VA facilities. Each health care facility is in need of access to same-day mental health appointments and the population of female veterans is continuing to grow. An increase in the need for primary care professionals is being driven by newer veterans who are used to receiving urgent care.

With a tough labor market, the VA is offering financial incentives including relocation, bonus pay, and increased salaries. The VA has purchased commercial human resource management software so that the agency can better monitor openings within their workforce.

Although 49,000 job vacancies is a concerning statistic, Wilkie is most concerned about wait times and their need to be reduced across the entire VA delivery system. Wilkie also outlined his vision of what the VA should aspire to achieve by 2030: a system that is easy to navigate and easy to enter as veterans’ needs change and new needs arise. The VA should also aspire to adapt to demographics of veterans as those demographics continue to change.

To learn more about how VA secretary Robert Wilkie is prioritizing job vacancies by offering financial incentives, visit here.

San Diego Nurses for Veterans Affairs Protest Working Conditions

San Diego Nurses for Veterans Affairs Protest Working Conditions

News of nursing strikes and protests for better wages was a popular topic in early 2016, but nurses from the Veterans Administration Healthcare System in San Diego, CA were protesting for a different reason this week – working conditions. As they protested outside the VA’s La Jolla Hospital, nurses asked for better staffing and equipment, urging administrators to fix problems that put their patients at risk.

Staffing shortages put both nurses and patients at risk, but it’s a common issue across the country. Lack of equipment and dated equipment can also become a major risk. However, despite demands that the VA Healthcare System provide new equipment and better staffing ratios, VA managers repeatedly ignored or rejected nurses concerns about these issues until it led to protesting.

These nurses are represented by the National Nurse United union, which represents over 700 nurses and skilled care providers at the San Diego VA. Union leader Erin McLeod reports that her colleagues have submitted 285 formal complaints about short staffing, missed rest breaks, and broken equipment over the past three years according to NBCSanDiego.com.

Nurses are often ignored or bullied for complaining about working conditions, ultimately hurting staff morale. The largest concern for these San Diego VA nurses is over long waits for emergency care, which puts their oldest and frailest patients at risk of death.

McLeod tells NBCSanDiego.com, “Sometimes veterans don’t get their CAT scans or their MRI in a timely manner. Sometimes medications can be given late. It puts veterans and the nurses at risk.”

It’s too early to tell whether the protesting will make a difference for these nurses and their patients, but their efforts have helped raise more awareness about these important issues in the field of nursing. To learn more about the nurses for Veterans Affairs protest, visit here.

Behind the Scenes with a CRNA

Behind the Scenes with a CRNA

National Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week lasts from January 22-28. To recognize those who work in this segment of the nursing field, we interviewed Dan Lovinaria, DNP, MBA, MS, APRN, CRNA, who works at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System (MVAHCA) to find out more about it what it’s like to work as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Lovinaria has been a nurse for more than 25 years, has been practicing anesthesia for more than 15 years, and is also a clinical assistant professor and an associate program director at the University of Minnesota Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia Program. What follows is an edited version of our interview.

As a CRNA , what does your job entail? What might you do on a daily basis?

As a VA CRNA, my top priority every day is to provide access to safe anesthesia care for the amazing Veterans who fought for our freedom. I am humbled and honored to hear the Veterans’ stories about their deployments in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf War, to name a few.

Being a VA CRNA comes with a tremendous responsibility and a great deal of accountability. Patients are often anxious and nervous about their surgical procedures. It is my duty to set the tone and make an immediate connection with my patients upon their arrival in the preoperative phase. Something as simple as providing warm blankets to my patients goes a long way. The little things that make a significant impact.

I also ensure that my patients are well-informed about their procedure, and I answer their questions and reassure them I will be with them from the beginning to the end of the procedure. I will be carefully and vigilantly watching their every vital sign and breath during, and adjusting their anesthesia as necessary.

On any given day, I provide anesthesia care along with my physician anesthesiologist colleagues to our Veterans needing cardiac bypass, joint replacement, cataract extraction, endoscopy, or urologic procedures. We provide various types of anesthesia including conscious sedation as well as regional and general anesthesia techniques.

Why did you choose this field of nursing?

As a young immigrant from the Philippines, I always wanted to pursue a career in health care. Many of my relatives were nurses, physicians, and dentists. It’s in the blood.

When I was a sophomore in college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I drove him to his radiation treatments. The dedicated nurses who cared for him left an indelible impression on my mind and sparked my passion for nursing. After my father’s passing, this experience solidified my desire to pursue nursing.

What are the biggest challenges of your job?

In today’s ever-changing and ever-evolving health care landscape, it is a challenge finding balance to provide the best and most appropriate anesthesia care while considering the high costs associated with services rendered.

Another challenge with my job is that health policies continue to change and can vary drastically in some instances. Governing bodies continue to dictate what should be done for our patients versus what is the appropriate care for these patients as determined by the providers who care for them.

What are the greatest rewards?

There are many intangible rewards associated with the nurse anesthesia profession. First of all, having the opportunity to care for our nation’s Veterans is the ultimate reward. They are very special, gracious, and always thankful for the care received.

Another reward is when you witness a baby being born and held by their parents for the first time. It is very emotional. I keep telling myself that I am making a difference one baby, one mother, and one Veteran at a time.

What would you say to someone who is considering this field?

Being a CRNA is the best profession. It is challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling all at the same time. CRNAs provide the majority of the 40 million anesthetics in the country and are often the only anesthesia providers in rural America and other medically underserved areas around the country.

CRNAs are highly educated and trained to administer safe and effective anesthesia in every health care setting and situation. CRNAs are no longer the best kept secret in health care.

$85,000 in Scholarship Funds Awarded to PhD Students at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing

$85,000 in Scholarship Funds Awarded to PhD Students at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing

Thanks to the help of three grants totaling $85,000, four PhD students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Nursing are receiving full scholarships. A grant of $40,000 was initially awarded to the college from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, which was then matched by $25,000 from the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation and $20,000 from GENEX Services, Inc. to fund doctoral students and aid in the nationwide shortage of nurse faculty.

The Jonas Scholars from UCF join more than 1,000 future nurse educators and leaders at 140 universities in all 50 states supported by the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program and Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program (JVHP). The Jonas Center is the nation’s leading philanthropic funder of graduate nursing education, addressing the critical need for qualified nursing faculty. US nursing schools turn away nearly 70,000 qualified applicants per year from baccalaureate and graduate programs due to an insufficient number of faculty.

Meet the 2016 UCF Jonas Scholars

UCF awarded the scholarships to four students who demonstrate a commitment to the future of nursing and improving health care by addressing critical industry needs through their research.

Jonas Nurse Leader Scholars

Corinne Audette, MSN, CNM – Corinne is a certified nurse midwife committed to increasing the number of nurse midwifery leaders to promote positive change in health care policy and improve health care for women and babies.

Suzanne Hyer, MSN, RN – Suzanne’s lifelong passion for education began in her clinical career, educating patients to improve their health, which blossomed into a desire to teach future nurses.

Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholars

Jean W. Davis, DNP, EdD, HCRM, ARNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC – Jean is a wife, daughter, and sister of veterans, and a former Veterans Affairs Family Nurse Practitioner trainee. She plans to support veteran’s health care and quality of life by studying healthy aging and lifelong health promotion.

Kelli M. Lipscomb, MSN, RN – Kelli is a critical care nurse and current adjunct nursing instructor who grew up with servicemen in her family and witnessed the difficulties of adjusting to life after returning from deployment. She wants to be part of the solution to aid veteran transition to non-active duty, and believes now is the time to create solutions with the new VA hospital opening in Orlando.

The scholarship funds, which begin in fall 2016, will cover three years of tuition, books, and stipend expenses that allow the doctoral students to focus on their studies and research. Scholarship recipients are enrolled full time in the online PhD program and expected to graduate in summer 2018.