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Posts from March, 2013

Nursing News: Can hospitals save lives with bachelor degree nurses?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 28th, 2013

Can hospitals save lives by hiring more nurses with bachelor’s degrees? A new study suggests that may be so.

Lead author Ann Kutney-Lee and colleagues published their findings in this month’s issue of the policy journal Health Affairs. They looked at 134 hospitals and calculated that a 10-point increase in the percentage of nurses holding a baccalaureate degree saved about two lives for every 1,000 patients treated.

The study did not examine why the higher number of bachelor’s-level nurses was associated with fewer deaths. “As part of their practice, nurses are responsible for the continual assessment and monitoring of a patient’s condition, identifying changes that could indicate clinical deterioration, and initiating interventions when necessary,” Kutney-Lee said in a press release from the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a nursing professor.

Across the country, about 45% of nurses have bachelor’s degrees, according to the University of Pennsylvania. Others have associate’s degrees or diplomas. We need nurses performing at all levels of practice to meet the impending nursing shortage.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Nurse Practitioners Reduce Healthcare Costs

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 26th, 2013

There are many benefits of graduate degrees for nurses, including the ability to do diagnostic testing, patient health education and counseling, prescriptions, as well as treatment for acute and chronic conditions.

Nurse practitioners can perform clinical services independently of physicians and help to reduce healthcare costs for individual patients, businesses, hospitals and clinics. There over 150,000 nurse practitioners in the U.S. and they save taxpayer money. NP clinics bill around 80% of what doctors normally charge.

According to recent figures, over 55 million U.S. residents are experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians. This can lead to poor health management and a rise in chronic diseases and ailments. These people can secure optimal care from a licensed and dedicated nurse practitioner. Like physicians, they accept a range of health insurance plans as well.

NursePractitionerSchoolGuides.org recently launched a new info-graphic for nurses looking to go back to school. With in depth information on graduate degrees and nursing programs, this site has helped nurses secure higher paying jobs as nurse practitioners.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. After you take a look, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Job Satisfaction Higher – Nurse Retention Needs Attention

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 21st, 2013

Nurses throughout the Unites States give high marks to their jobs. “Vital Signs 2012: A National Nursing Attitudes and Outlook Report,” shares survey findings conducted by Jackson Healthcare, the nation’s third largest healthcare staffing company, in conjunction with Jackson Nurse Professionals.

Of 969 nurses who responded to the survey, 76% said they were satisfied or very satisfied in their jobs in caring for the sick or infirmed.

The survey found that only 5% of nurses are very dissatisfied with their work. Those who are unhappy tend to be younger nurses (ages 25 to 34), compared with nurses ages 65 or older. Male nurses also are more likely to be unhappy compared with female. The survey found a significant spike in nurses retiring in10 years.

With the potential for so many nurses retiring, America’s healthcare delivery may have a real problem if younger nurses are unhappy and leave the profession too. Nurse retention needs to be a major concern for all facilities.

The survey found that in the next three to five years, 49% of nurses planned to keep their jobs and 13% will seek a leadership position in nursing. 11% want to return to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, 10% would like to teach nursing and 9% would like to transition to a nurse practitioner role.

These are exciting times for nurse recruitment, and challenging for nurse retention. To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Recruitment Increases for Advanced Practice Nurses

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 19th, 2013

Rapid growth in jobs created for physician assistants and advanced-practice nurses is triggering a new round of nurse recruitment challenges for Wisconsin hospitals, according to a study by the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Wisconsin hospitals reported a 55% increase in the number of advanced-practice nurses they employ, a 38% increase in certified registered nurse anesthetists and a 25% increase in physician assistants from 2009 to 2011.

The Hospital Association attributed the increases to increasing difficulty recruiting primary care physicians and also on the positive impact on health care quality of advanced-practice professionals.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Healthcare News: An Easy Way to Save More Lives in Surgery

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 14th, 2013

Dr. Atul Gawande authored a new study showing that if surgical teams follow a checklist when crises hit, important life-saving steps are less likely to be missed.

Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor in the department of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health, said that a hospital with 10,000 operations a year logs an estimated 145 surgical emergencies annually, according to the study published in the Jan. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Gawande conducted research four years ago that shows using pre-surgery checklists cuts down on complications during a procedure, then he wanted to explore whether using a checklist mid-emergency makes a difference too. The study found that operating room teams who used surgical checklists when a life-threatening event arose were 74% less likely to skip pivotal life-saving steps compared to those who worked from memory.

For the study, Gawande’s team recruited 17 surgical teams from three hospitals in the Boston area and simulated more than 100 operating room emergencies using a robotic patient. Each team used a surgical checklist in half of the simulations and worked from memory alone in the other half. The failure rate for following proven life-saving processes fell from 23% to 6 %, Gawande reported.

Afterward, nearly all of the participants said they would want a checklist used while handling a crisis during surgery.

Gawande said that to help develop surgical checklist protocols he and his colleagues collaborated with airline crisis experts who follow similar checklists for emergencies such as engine failures or in-flight fires.

Hospitals and surgical teams should tailor checklists to their own environments, he said.

To learn more about healthcare efficiency, nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Recruitment News: Healthcare Hiring Increases

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 12th, 2013

As government hiring lessened and contracting spending tightened, the healthcare industry emerged as the chief driver of job growth, and nurse recruitment is on the rise.

The shift could be seen in the hiring patterns of some of the eastern region’s largest employers: major contracting firms Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Computer Sciences Corp. shed a combined 5,104 local jobs last year.

Meanwhile, some of the biggest names in healthcare added jobs on a large scale: Northern Virginia’s Inova Health System added about 1,000 positions in 2012. Children’s National Medical Center expanded its workforce by the equivalent of 349 full-time workers. In nursing roles alone, MedStar Washington Hospital Center added 200 positions in the past 18 months.

The strength in healthcare hiring was critical in propelling that region’s overall economic growth.

The health sector has been increasing nationwide as the huge baby-boom generation ages and spends more on care. Demand is expected to surge even higher as the Affordable Care Act extends health insurance to millions of Americans who did not have it.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Recruitment Tool: Nurses Top Poll on Honesty and Ethics…Again

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 7th, 2013

In Gallup’s annual poll released in December, Americans gave nurses higher marks than any other profession. When asked to “Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields,” 85% of respondents gave very high or high marks to nurses.

We need to brag about this and use it as a tool to recruit more nurses into our honorable profession!

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Nurses Save Lives and Money

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 5th, 2013

A new study of a transitional care model of nurses talking weekly with recently discharged hospital patients finds that the program reduces readmission rates and saves money.

The study by a team of Wisconsin-based researchers examined the Coordinated Transitional Care program at a Veterans Administration hospital in Madison. Under the program, patients work with nurse case managers on care and health issues, medication reconciliation before and after hospital discharge, with all contacts made by phone once the patient is at home. These patients experienced one-third fewer re-hospitalizations than those in a baseline comparison group, producing an estimated savings of $1,225 per patient net of programmatic costs.

The nurse engages the patient in an open-ended discussion beginning within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital. They spend a lot of time talking about medications, follow-up and any signs and symptoms that the patient’s medical condition could be worsening.

The authors conclude that the program requires a “relatively small amount of resources to operate,” and suggest that it might be particularly useful for providers in rural areas or in care settings facing resource constraints.

This new field will require more nurses and increased nurse recruitment. To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.