Nursing / 07.03.2024

Nurses have shown incredible leadership in confronting recent healthcare obstacles—from lost insurance access to once-in-a-generation pandemic disruptions. As policies, technologies, and social factors transform health systems, expert nurses guide communities through uncertainty with care models that enhance well-being. In this blog post, we will highlight the contribution of nurses in leading innovations in quality, safety, and equitable access.

Quality Care Revolutionaries

nurses-nursing-trailblazersThe seminal Institute of Medicine's “To Err Is Human” publication sounded alarms in 1999 about the silent epidemic of American medical errors contributing to nearly 98,000 annual deaths. With time, the stakes intensified for systemic improvement. Nurse leadership emerged, accelerating cultural transformations and pioneering processes that saved countless lives. Take Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety Network (SPS), for example. Founded by nurse scientist Marlene Miller in 2001, it aims to unite children’s hospitals to develop evidence-based harm reduction tactics and tools. By adopting the best practices across their network, their hospitals are making significant strides in preventing serious harm. As of November 2023, this nationwide network of child healthcare has spared over 25,000 children from harm, resulting in an estimated cost savings of $500 million. Similarly, medical experts around the world credit ICU nurses’ relentless systems analysis and testing of solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic for lifting outcomes. (more…)
Nursing / 08.03.2022

There is a massive nursing shortage being faced by countries all around the world. The ever-increasing population means more resources and professionals in the healthcare sector are needed. Though healthcare as a whole suffers from massive shortages, the shortage is felt most keenly within nursing. Nurses make up for half the global healthcare workforce. Globally it is estimated that there will be a shortage of between 7 million and 13 million. A global shortage indicates a global issue. Many professionals believe that to offset this shortage, and finally make headway with improving healthcare as a whole, a global solution is necessary.

The Nursing Shortage and Its Complications

Globally it is estimated that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 7 million to 13 million nurses. This includes the current shortage of 6 million nurses we are currently facing around the world. Many experts believe a global solution is essential when the issue spans across borders. Though the issue is a global one, the current method that many developed countries are using is no longer working. In the past, the solution was simply to hire nurses from abroad to work here. On average, it is estimated that 16% of nurses are foreign-born. The nursing shortage is nothing new. There has been a shortage of nurses in the United States since the 1930s. Immigration requirements have eased and encouraged international nurses to move to the United States to work there since the 1950s. While immigration itself is not a problem, looking only for solutions outside of home soil does cause international issues. Hiring talented healthcare workers from other countries often leaves the healthcare situation in their home country in a worse situation. Jamaica, for example, has lost 29% of its critical care nurses to migration. Hiring from other countries is not a long-term solution. Nor is it a solution that works on a global scale. Improving working conditions, education conditions, and the work/life balance of nurses is a must. There is a pervasive view that nurses are overworked and underpaid. Addressing the cause of this view, and the view itself, can help transition nursing from a vocation to a vied-for career. One of the most critical issues that exacerbate the nursing shortage is the fast turnaround of nurses. Thomas Jordan, an American Hospital Association spokesperson, claims that up to 33% of new nurses will leave the workforce within two years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Nursing, Occupational Health / 07.01.2015

Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPH Associate Professor of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Epidemiology Harvard School of Public Health Channing Division of Network Interview with: Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPH Associate Professor of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Epidemiology Harvard School of Public Health Channing Division of Network Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Schernhammer: The study is an observational cohort study of over 70,000 registered nurses from within the US who reported the total number of years they had worked rotating night work and were followed for several decades. We examined overall mortality in these women, and observed significantly higher overall mortality, as well as higher mortality from cardiovascular disease in women with several years of rotating night shift work, compared to nurses who had never worked night shifts. There was also some suggestion for modest and non-significant increases in mortality from a few cancers. The study is unique due to its size, the fact that all participants were nurses (eliminating potential biases arising from differing occupational exposures), the long follow-up, and the possibility to take into account most known risk factors for chronic diseases that we currently know of (all of this information has been collected regularly and repeatedly).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, General Medicine, Surgical Research / 05.08.2014

Henry M. Spinelli, MD, PC Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 875 Fifth Avenue New York, NY Interview with: Henry M. Spinelli, MD, PC Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 875 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10065 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Spinelli: Briefly, we polled approximately 26,000 plastic surgeons by way of membership in the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS), American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and collated this data and published it in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (the Blue Journal), the official journal of ISAPS. This preliminary study was initiated given the current and past healthcare and cosmetic medical/surgical care climate both in the United States and worldwide. As a background, when it comes to injectables (botox and fillers) there is not a united consensus on a state by state basis in the USA and from country to country worldwide. Additionally, the regulations and laws governing the administration of botox and injectables is in a constant flux. For instance, the UK allowed beauticians in the past to administer these substances however they are now banned from legal administration of these products. Alabama, only allows physicians (dermatologists and plastic surgeons) to purchase and administer botox and injectables whereas the medical board of California states that physicians can perform the procedure or oversee licensed registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, or physicians assistants. Similarly, dentists in some states are permitted to administer these agents. It would be a bad idea for any physician working with botox to take Advanced Botox Training to reduce the possibility of medical misdemeanors. At the present time few studies have directly assessed the capability of various providers to administer cosmetic injections. When people schedule a consultation for plastic surgery, they are often looking for things like a younger face or a nicer body. The answer to the previous question will become more important as the demand for these procedures continues to grow and an increasing number of practitioners and different Plastic Surgeon from a variety of backgrounds enter the field to meet demand. This study aimed to help define the role of various practitioners in an increasingly more competitive environment for injectables and to explore the relationship between patient and injectable provider in order to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. When asked to rank patients’ perceptions of various providers according to their expertise in administering Botox and dermal fillers, responders ranked plastic surgeons and dermatologists as most capable (96%) then nurses in plastic surgery and dermatology (3%). Gynecologists (<1%), dentists (<1%) and nurses in other fields (<1%) all received nearly equivalent numbers of “most capable” rankings. When asked to rank patients’ perception of various providers according to their inability to administer Botox and dermal fillers, nurses in other fields were most frequently ranks as least capable (63%) followed by dentists (26%), gynecologists (12%), plastic surgeons and dermatologists (2%) and nurses in plastic surgery and dermatology (1%). (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Lancet, Nursing, University of Pennsylvania / 04.03.2014

Professor Linda H Aiken PhD, FAAN, FRCN, RN Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing, Professor of Sociology Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research University of Pennsylvania School of Interview with: Professor Linda H Aiken PhD, FAAN, FRCN, RN Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing, Professor of Sociology Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Austerity measures and health-system redesign to minimise hospital expenditures risk adversely affecting patient outcomes. Against that backdrop, can you start by letting us know the background of the study?  Prof. Aiken: European Surgical Outcomes Study in 28 countries showed higher than necessary deaths after surgery. A comparable study in the US showed that despite the nation spending hundreds of millions of dollars on improving patient safety, there were no improvements in adverse outcomes after surgery in US hospitals between 2000 and 2009.  Clearly it is time to consider new solutions to improving hospital care for surgical patients, who make up a large proportion of all hospital admissions.  Our study was designed to determine whether there are risks for patients of reducing hospital nurse staffing, and what, if any, are the benefits to patients of moving to a more educated nurse workforce. (more…)