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RNews Digest: 2 December 2011

News and perspectives important to RNs and the profession of nursing, gathered from sources around the world.


Reducing nurses’ stress pays off for Kaiser patients
KALW News, Chris Connelly, 1 December 2011
Technology has done great things for medicine: Machines can help keep hearts beating and lungs breathing. Electronic medical records help doctors keep track of their patients’ treatment and prevent mistakes. But all that technology needs a lot of monitoring—and that can be frustrating for nurses who want to be tending people, not machines.

Physical environment, workgroup cohesion play significant roles in nurses’ ratings of quality of patient care
Medical News Today, 1 December 2011
While nurse-to-patient ratios are widely recognized as an important factor in determining the quality of patient care, those ratios are not always easy to change without significant cost and investment of resources. What’s more, the projected nursing shortage will make it even more difficult for hospitals to increase nurse staffing. A study published in the current issue of Health Care Management Review indicates that there are other aspects of registered nurses’ work environments that RNs perceive can also have a significant impact on the quality of care they deliver.
NINR celebrates 25 years of nursing research, Nick Hut, 28 November 2011
Karen Daley, RN, PhD, MPH, FAAN, president of the American Nurses Association, summed up the importance of the National Institute of Nursing Research this way: “No one is in a better position to ask the right questions than nurse researchers and their colleagues in nursing practice.”
More patients seeing only allied health workers
American Medical News, Victoria Stagg Elliott, 29 November 2011
A growing proportion of patients in hospital outpatient departments is receiving care from physician assistants and advance practice nurses without seeing a physician. “Their practice appears complementary and growing over the last few years, especially in areas with few physicians,” said Esther Hing, MPH, statistician with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
More parents skip childhood vaccines
New York Times, Anahad O’Connor (blog), 29 November 2011
Health officials have struggled for years to reassure parents that childhood vaccinations are safe, but the number of parents who skip the shots continues to grow, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press. In more than half of the states, the number of parents opting to skip some or all childhood vaccines is rising, according to The Associated Press report.
Four common meds send thousands of seniors to hospital
USA Today, Jenifer Goodwin, 25 November 2011
An estimated 100,000 older Americans are hospitalized for adverse drug reactions yearly, and most of those emergencies stem from four common medications, a new study finds. The four types of medication—two for diabetes and two blood-thinning agents—account for two-thirds of those drug-related emergency hospitalizations. RNL
—Compiled by Jane Palmer, assistant editor,
Reflections on Nursing Leadership
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