Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

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July 26, 2017

In an effort to improve the well-being of healthcare professionals, the National Academy of Medicine hosted the first meeting of the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience on July 14 in Washington, DC. AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman serves on one of the Collaborative’s working groups. At the meeting, organizers discussed generating greater engagement around efforts to reduce burnout among healthcare professionals, including a review of mitigating strategies. View the meeting agenda and watch the webcast. The Collaborative also released a discussion paper that you can share with faculty, staff, and colleagues titled Burnout Among Health Care Professionals: A Call to Explore and Address This Underrecognized Threat to Safe, High-Quality Care.

July 19, 2017

AACN's top leaders are featured this week in a series of articles published in the 2017-2018 Education Guide that was just released by American Nurse Today, an official journal of the American Nurses Association. AACN Board Chair Juliann Sebastian is quoted in two articles: one on "Frontiers in Nursing Education" (pp. 8-9), which looks at the many pathways available to today's nursing student looking to complete a degree program, and an article titled "Is an Accelerated Nursing Program Right for You" (pp. 10-11). AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman is featured in an article on "Moving Ahead with Your Nursing Education" (p. 4), which focuses on resources available to those considering a return to school, including NursingCAS, AACN's centralized application service. 

July 12, 2017

In the July-September 2017 issue of Nursing Administration Quarterly, Drs. Pennie Sessler Branden and Nancy Sharts-Hopko call for establishing a long-term strategy to prepare the next generation of nurse leaders in an article on "Growing Clinical and Academic Nursing Leaders: Building the Pipeline." The authors report that nursing is facing a crisis, as too few qualified nurse academicians and administrators are willing to step up to high-level leadership positions such as deanships and chief nursing officers. This article critically appraises the available literature regarding succession planning in the nursing profession and offers pragmatic suggestions for stakeholders to engage in preparing new leaders in a deliberate and thoughtful manner. The authors also explore barriers and facilitators for nurses aspiring to lead

July 5, 2017

On June 20, the American Council on Education released the American College President Study 2017, the eighth edition of the most comprehensive study of presidents from all types of higher education institutions. In addition to featuring data on demographics, career trajectories, and the duties and responsibilities of college and university CEOs, this year's study also examines the views of presidents in three key areas: diversity and inclusion, state funding and political climate, and areas of importance for the future. Among the key findings:

  • The most common road to the presidency continues to be the traditional route of academic affairs (43%).
  • The percentage of women serving as college presidents stood at 30% in 2016, up just four percentage points from 2011. The percentage of college presidents who are minorities also increased by four percentage points, from 13% in 2011 to 17% in 2016.
  • More than half of presidents reported that racial climate on campus was more of a priority than it had been in the past three years (56%).
  • Fifty percent of presidents characterized their state political climate as supportive, while 41% believed that their state political climate was hostile.
  • Looking to the future, presidents identified budget and financial management, fundraising, enrollment management, and diversity and equity issues as the areas that will be most important to their successors.

June 28, 2017

Nurses have long pioneered innovative, community-based programs to help babies and young children thrive. The latest issue of Charting Nursing's Future, a publication of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks at contemporary nurse-designed initiatives aimed at improving birth outcomes, supporting breastfeeding, teaching parenting skills, and improving the quality of child-care centers.
In the June 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan explores "Social Mission in Health Professions Education" in a Viewpoint article that challenges academic leaders, faculty, and students to consider the impact they can have on enhancing health equity and addressing health disparities in their local communities. According to Dr. Mullan: "Social mission is about making health not only better but fairer—more just, reliable, and universal. It focuses on the purpose of education in the health professions, the ethical dimension of what it is to be a teaching institution and to whom the institution is accountable."

June 21, 2017

In the April-June 2017 issue of Nursing Forum, Dr. Jean E. Christoffersen from Simmons College published a new paper on "Teaching Accelerated Second-Degree Nursing Students: Educators from Across the United States Share Their Wisdom." This qualitative study was designed to elicit best practices from nursing faculty on how to teach adults with degrees in other fields who are transitioning into nursing. The themes that emerged included (a) extreme organization, (b) engaging students through active listening, (c) mutual respect, (d) engaging via life/work experience, (e) effective pedagogy adaptations, and (f) early immersion. Exploring these themes will be useful in guiding faculty and program directors involved with this unique cohort of nursing students.

June 14, 2017

Now posted online by the Journal of Professional Nursing is an article authored by the 2015 cohort of AACN Faculty Policy Intensive Fellows titled "Policy and political advocacy: Comparison study of nursing faculty to determine current practices, perceptions, and barriers to teaching health policy" (in press). This paper was based on a national survey used to assess the incorporation of the AACN Essentials related to health policy in baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs and policy content integration across these levels of educational programs. The authors include Suzanne Staebler from Emory University; Jane Campbell from Northern Michigan University; Patsy Cornelius from John Brown University; Amanda Fallin-Bennett from the University of Kentucky; Eileen Fry-Bowers from the University of San Diego; Ying Mai Kung from Florida State University; David LaFevers from the University of Missouri-Kansas city; and Janice Miller from Thomas Jefferson University.

June 7, 2017

Healthcare Reform: Nurses Impact Policy is the theme of the last installment of the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, a peer-reviewed publication produced by the American Nurses Association that addresses current topics affecting nursing practice, research, education, and the wider health care sector. Articles featured in this issue include "The State of Play: Healthcare Reform in 2017" by AACN's Chief Policy Officer Suzanne Miyamoto, and "Healthcare Transformation: A Bibliometric Analysis of a Global Endeavor" by AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman, National Council of State Boards of Nursing CEO David Benton, and American Organization of Nurse Executives CEO Maureen Swick. Other articles in the series focus on the opioid crisis, nurse led reforms, and telehealth services.

In the June 2017 issue of HealthLeaders, senior nursing editor Jennifer Thew published a new article titled "APRNs Improve Quality Outcomes, Cost of Care." In this piece, the evidence linking Advanced Practice Registered Nurses – Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Clinical Nurse Specialists - to quality outcomes is explored along with plans for several health systems to expand utilization of APRNs. In a separate article in Forbes online, contributor Bruce Japsen published a piece on "Nurse Practitioner Demand Eclipses Doctors as States Lift Hurdles." Only family physicians, psychiatrists, and internists are more in demand than nurse practitioners, according to the latest snapshot into the U.S. healthcare workforce from the search firm MerrittHawkins. 

May 31, 2017

In the May issue of HealthLeaders magazine, journalist Debra Beaulieu explores the move to engage more nurses and physicians at the highest levels of healthcare administration in an article titled Clinicians in the C-Suite. According to the author, healthcare leadership is evolving in a way that must merge the silos of clinical care and administration, resulting in a growing number of C-suite positions occupied by physicians and nurses. Given the growing emphasis on value and quality, healthcare organizations are finding that clinicians are well-suited to help facilitate change in the practice environment so they are taking steps to close the gap between providers of care and executive leadership.

May 24, 2017

In the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Nursing Education, a research team led by Dr. Eric A. Hodge from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill explores effective strategies for improving the learning experience for male nursing students in an article on Bridging the Gender Divide: Facilitating the Educational Path for Men in Nursing. Though the number of men entering the nursing profession has increased incrementally over the years, men often face a number of gender-based barriers to their academic success, including a lack of role models, role strain, gender discrimination, and isolation. Find out how UNC-Chapel Hill launched the Careers Beyond the Bedside program to create a more inclusive environment for men and to enhance the profession’s diversity.

In the May 22, 2017 issue of Associations Now, reporter Ernie Smith published an article on Nursing Groups Cite Looming Employment Shortage. Concerns about the return of a nationwide nursing shortage are growing given the fact that baby boomers are reaching retirement age, which will result in a wave of registered nurse (RN) retirements at a time when more nursing care is needed. A recent survey from CareerBuilder finds that 56% of healthcare providers have open RN positions but cannot find qualified candidates.

May 17, 2017

Diffusion of Innovation” is the latest featured topic on the popular Health Affairs Blog.This new series highlights posts that encompass all aspects of the journey between development of a healthcare innovation and widespread adoption of change in the healthcare delivery system. The series kicks off with articles from Dr. William Shrank, chief medical officer of UPMC Health Plan and former director of Research and Rapid-Cycle Evaluation for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, and Jeffrey Selberg, head of the Peterson Center on Healthcare and former COO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Both blog entries address the need for speed in diffusion. Take some time to share your comments on the blog submissions that feature your experiences, insight, and knowledge about how innovation spreads.

May 10, 2017

In the May 3 issue of Health Affairs Blog, Drs. Peter Buerhaus, David Auerbach, and Douglas Staiger pose the question: “How Should We Prepare for the Wave of Retiring Baby Boomer Nurses?” In this post, the authors indicate that more than one million experienced nurses are expected to retire by the year 2030, many of whom are part of the baby boom generation. The researchers outline the “four actions that should be taken by hospital chief nursing executives, hospital patient care unit managers, and human resource officers to both anticipate and act to prevent the negative consequences that could ensue as RN retirement accelerates.”

In a recent segment that aired on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and PBS’s Nightly Business Report, the University of Maryland School of Nursing was featured in a story addressing the nursing shortage. Business reporter Kate Rogers takes a look at career opportunities in nursing as more nurses get ready to retire and new qualified applicants are needed.

May 3, 2017

On April 30, the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California Los Angeles released findings from its latest study of first-year college students titled The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2016. Issues studied in this year’s survey include political affiliation and engagement; the impact of college cost on enrollment decisions; the mental and emotional wellbeing of incoming students; and the characteristics and motivations of first-generation students, among many other timely concerns. The largest and longest-running survey of American college students, the 2016 report is based on responses from 137,456 full-time, freshmen at 184 U.S. colleges and universities.

April 26, 2017

In the March/April 2017 issue of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, Drs. Tracy Phillips and Jennifer Titzer Evans explore the progress underway toward reaching the  Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) goal related to baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce in an article titled “RN to BSN Transition: A Concept Analysis.” Over 670,000 associate degree- and diploma-prepared nurses will need to complete their BSN degrees to meet the IOM’s recommendation that at least 80% of registered nurses (RNs) be BSN-prepared by the year 2020. Understanding motivators, barriers, and the transition experience for RNs to advancing their education will help academic nurse leaders see the importance of partnering to facilitate more RNs in pursuing baccalaureate degree completion programs.

April 19, 2017

On April 18, the Deloitte Center for Higher Education Excellence and the Georgia Institute of Technology Center for 21st Century Universities released a new report on Pathways to the University Presidency: The Future of Higher Education Leadership. The authors examined the role of the college president and how the dynamics of higher education in America are driving a new set of skills and capabilities for tomorrow’s leaders. This study found that academic deans are increasingly moving into the president’s office, bypassing the role of provost. Academic leaders looking to serve as president are encouraged to seek experiences that will help them understand how universities work, how to cultivate external relationships, and how to develop budgets and lead fundraising efforts.
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the first module in a new online training series to help clinicians apply its opioid prescribing guidelines for adults with chronic pain. This series aims to help nurses and other providers apply the CDC’s recommendations across clinical setting through interactive patient scenarios, videos, knowledge checks, tips, and other resources. Those completing the modules will gain a better understanding of the CDC guidelines, the risks and benefits of prescription opioids, nonopioid options, patient communication, and risk mitigation.

April 12, 2017

Nursing, psychology, English, math, and music are the top disciplines for tenure-track faculty hires at four-year institutions, according to a new survey from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). This annual publication, titled Faculty in Higher Education Salary Report, typically includes median full-time faculty salaries as well as demographic data and information on adjuncts and department chairs. Reporter Colleen Flaherty details findings from the CUPA-HR survey in the April 6, 2017 issue of Inside Higher Ed.
Pay for full-time faculty members rose 2.6 percent this academic year over last, according to Visualizing Change: The American Association of University Professors’ Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession. Released today, AAUP’s survey finds that the average salary for full-time ranked faculty members was $80,095 in 2016-17, while the average total pay for part-time faculty members at a single institution was $20,508. This compensation data is based on responses from 1,022 academic institutions.

April 5, 2017

In the April/June 2017 issue of Nursing Administration Quarterly, Dr. Deborah Burton from Providence Health & Services and a team of researchers from Washington State University published an article on "Positioning a 5-State Nursing Workforce to Flourish by Advancing Baccalaureate Education." This article summarizes the experience and outcomes of a large, faith-based health system moving to ensure that all of its registered nurses are prepared at the baccalaureate level. The health system's BSN completion strategy is summarized, including programmatic structure, curriculum themes, participant experience, and outcomes. Executive leadership's commitment and engagement are highlighted.

March 29, 2017

In the March 2017 issue of HealthLeaders magazine, results from the 2017 Nursing Excellence Survey show that the top challenges facing nurse leaders in the clinical setting are nurse retention (61%) and nurse recruitment (59%), nurse engagement (35%), and nurse leadership development. In terms of nurse retention, 71% of survey respondents report a nurse turnover rate of less than 20%, while 25% are seeing a turnover rate of 20% or higher. The most successful strategies for improving nurse retention include flexible scheduling (53%), improving communications (51%), initiating orientation programs for new nurses (48%), increasing salaries (48%), offering tuition reimbursement (42%), and improving the work environment (42%).
On March 22, Yahoo! Finance published an article titled "Pennsylvania Hospitals Lead Nation with Innovative Nurse Residency Program," which showcases the expansion of the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program. More than 40 hospitals will participate in the Pennsylvania Nurse Residency Collaborative, a joint initiative between the Pennsylvania Action Coalition and the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program. Pennsylvania is the third state in the U.S. to adopt this groundbreaking transition to practice program at the state level.

March 22, 2017

In the March 17 edition of the Health Affairs Blog, Ani Turner, Charles Roehrig, and Katherine Hempstead examined growth in the healthcare workforce sector from 2007-2015 in a post titled “What’s Behind 2.5 Million New Health Jobs?”, the authors found the greatest growth in “Diagnosing/Treating” occupations, which includes nurse practitioners (up 25%), and registered nurses (up 21%). The data also show no growth in the number of licensed practical nurses (LPNs), as declines in hospital employment of LPNs was offset by gains in home health and nursing homes.

In the March 16 issue of Yahoo! Finance, Nurse.com by OnCourse Learning--the sponsor of AACN’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability in Nursing Education Lectureship Award--posted a story titled “AACN Celebrates Educators Striving to Diversify Nursing Workforce.” "AACN is dedicated to ensuring our nursing workforce mirrors today's patient population," said Patrick Sheahan, president and CEO of Nurse.com and OnCourse Learning. "This award shines a light on nursing educators who are successfully carrying out that mission." Dr. Norma Martinez Rogers from the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio received this award on March 21 at AACN's Spring Annual Meeting.

March 15, 2017

In the January-February 2017 issue of the Journal of Professional Nursing, Dr. Di Fang, AACN’s Director of Institutional Research and Data Services, is the lead author of an article titled Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Future Nurse Faculty Careers for DNP Students. In this cross-sectional study of 1,500 students in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs, the most influential facilitators to pursuing an academic career were interest in teaching and an appreciation of the impact of nursing research on patient care. The lead barriers were poor financial compensation and a negative perception of academia. Overall, the impact of DNP education appeared to have a small, although positive, impact on students' decisions to pursue teaching careers.

On March 14, the Association of American Medical Colleges released a new report titled The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2015 to 2030, which points to a shortfall of between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by the year 2030. The study estimates a shortage of between 7,300 and 43,100 primary care physicians, and between 33,500 and 61,800 physicians in non-primary care specialties. When compared with previous reports in 2015 and 2016, the lower shortage estimates for physicians in primary care are due largely to the higher projected supply and utilization of nurse practitioners.

March 8, 2017

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training, and more states are considering similar changes. Yet institutional policies and legal limits on APRN practice at state and federal levels continue to create delays in care, raise the cost of care, and make it difficult for many patients to locate primary care and other services. The latest issue of Charting Nursing’s Future, a publication of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, makes the case for removing state, federal, and institutional barriers that prevent APRNs from delivering efficient and effective care. The report also describes recent progress and showcases the benefits that emerge when practice barriers are lifted.
On February 26, the Chronicle of Higher Education released its third annual Trends Report, which focuses on 10 key shifts in higher education that affect faculty, students, and academic administrators at all levels. This year’s report reflects some of the broader tensions evident on campuses today that impact the learning experience, including the need to teach students how to separate fact from fiction, the growing activism among athletes, the movement to protect undocumented students, and the cultural divide that is often seen as separating academe from rural America. Several trends relate directly to how academic institutions are trying to bridge differences, whether political, racial, or socioeconomic. Case studies, commentaries, and other resources are available to help you take action or start a conversation on your own campus.

March 1, 2017

Research led by nursing faculty at the University of Arkansas has identified factors that affect job satisfaction and retention of nursing school administrators and faculty members. Both studies used data from Harvard’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education survey related to job satisfaction and intent to stay. In both cases, the nurse researchers found that institutional leadership was the most important factor for nursing administrators and faculty who expressed satisfaction with their jobs and planned to stay in them. Led by Dr. Jan Emory, the study on “Academic Nursing Administrators’ Workplace Satisfaction and Intent to Stay” was published in the January-February 2017 issue of Nursing Outlook. Dr. Peggy Lee’s article on “College Nursing Faculty Job Satisfaction and Retention: A National Perspective” is still in press, but available online through the website of the Journal of Professional Nursing. Both studies found that organization culture and personal and family policies were also important factors in career decision-making and overall satisfaction.

February 22, 2017

In the January-February 2017 issue of MEDSURG Nursing, Dr. Grace Sotomayor and Veronica Rankin from the Carolinas Health System published a new article titled “Clinical Nurse Leaders: Fulfilling the Promise of the Role.” The authors describe how Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNLs) are improving care and reducing costs in a Magnet-designated Level 1 trauma center in the southern United States. In assessing the impact of CNLs, the authors found that “from 2010 to 2015, CNLs led substantial reductions on medical-surgical units to which they were deployed. Improvement in the incidence of patient falls, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, central line-associated blood stream infection, and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers ranged from 30% to 82%.

February 15, 2017

In the February 2017 issue of American Nurse Today, this month’s Education Focus asks the question “PhD or DNP? Defining the path to your career destination.” The authors explore the latest trends and data in doctoral nursing education, while also identifying some key factors prospective students should consider when choosing between a research- or practice-focused doctoral degree.

February 8, 2017

On February 3, 2017, The Atlantic published an article on the resurgence of the nursing shortage in many parts of the country titled The U.S. Is Running Out of Nurses. The author contends that though “the U.S. has been dealing with a nursing deficit of varying degrees for decades—due to an aging population, the rising incidence of chronic disease, an aging nursing workforce, and the limited capacity of nursing schools—this shortage is on the cusp of becoming a crisis, one with worrying implications for patients and healthcare providers alike.”

In the February 1, 2017 issue of Health Leaders, columnist Jennifer Thew, RN, takes a closer look at “Nurses Missing from Healthcare Reform Talks.”  Though nursing groups such as the Tri-Council for Nursing and the Nursing Community coalition have reached out to Vice President Pence with offers to engage with the new administration regarding its healthcare agenda, the profession’s leaders have yet to be approached to play a more formal role in this critical work.

February 1, 2017

The American Council on Education, in collaboration with USA Funds, has released a new white paper that explores the connections between quality teaching and student success. Titled Unpacking Relationships: Instruction and Student Outcomes, this paper provides insight into five key areas of the learning experience, including transparency, pedagogical approaches, assessment, self-regulation, and alignment. The paper concludes that faculty must "help students make connections between various learning experiences and the end goals of higher education by supporting student-centered learning environments."

Reflecting workforce trends are emerging across the country, the Omaha World Herald has published a new article titled "Nebraska and Iowa again face nursing shortage after brief reprieve during recession." In addition to featuring national data on the growing demand for registered nurses, the article features insights from AACN Board Chair Juliann Sebastian, who speaks to the drivers of the nursing shortage in Nebraska, Iowa, and nationwide.

January 25, 2017

Inside Higher Education has released the results of its 2017 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers, which was conducted by Gallup and answered by 654 provosts or chief academic officers at institutions nationwide. Though most provosts believe the academic health of their institutions is quite strong (86%), most are feeling pressure to address some pressing concerns, which include increasing the number of minority faculty, meeting the needs of a diverse student population, providing quality undergraduate education, and implementing competency-based education. Complete results may be downloaded on demand.
With hospitals increasingly preferring registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees, community colleges are developing innovative ways to ensure nursing students have an opportunity to continue their education. In the article "
Colleges help nursing students attain BSNs," the Community College Daily profiles several routes to academic progression in nursing, including dual enrollment agreements and other partnerships that facilitate seamless transition to baccalaureate-level programs with shared faculty and curriculums.

January 18, 2017

Developed through a partnership between 2Revolutions and EDUCAUSE, an interactive resource on Building a Culture of Innovation in Higher Education: Design and Practice for Leaders is available for those seeking to embrace innovation as a catalyst for organizational change. This report and toolkit outlines the steps for creating a learning environment that will help you reimagine faculty roles and better prepare students to face the challenges of a healthcare landscape in flux. This report includes a new tool for higher education leaders to assess your organization's progress in building a culture of innovation and explore examples and resources from inside the higher education field and beyond.

January 11, 2017

In the January 9 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine, AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman published a new commentary on "Stemming the opioid epidemic through education." In this piece, Dr. Trautman describes how the academic nursing community is mobilizing to address this public health crisis by educating advanced practice registered nurses on responsible prescribing practices using the evidence-based guidelines developed by the CDC.

Dr. Jane Kirschling, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, published an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun on January 7, 2017 titled "Well educated RNs are critical to country's future." Dr. Kirschling outlines the essential role registered nurses (RNs) play across care settings and how RNs with baccalaureate and higher levels of education are the key to a safe and responsive healthcare delivery system.

January 4, 2017

UCLA Professor Jack Needleman has published a new editorial in BMJ Quality and Safety, the international journal of healthcare improvement, on Nursing Skill Mix and Patient Outcomes” that was written in response to the latest study conducted by noted nurse researcher Linda Aiken that correlates nursing education with patient safety. In this piece, Dr. Needleman concludes that Dr. Aiken’s study “confirms the key findings of prior work that staffing that relies on non-professional nurses for a substantial component of direct patient care can put patients at risk for a wide range of adverse outcomes.”

In the current issue of Nurse Leaders, columnist Jennifer Thews writes about the expanding use of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) at the VA, including the agency’s ruling on CRNAs in a piece titled “
VA Grants APRNs Full Practice Authority. Almost.”  The article reports on how the larger nursing community, including AACN, are united in their view that CRNAs also should be granted full practice authority along with nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives at VA facilities. Comments on the final rule and full practice authority for CRNAs can be submitted to the VA until January 13.

December 21, 2016

Healthcare technologies such as electronic health records, smart alarms, and lifting devices are designed to improve patient outcomes—and for the most part they do. Conversely, these innovations also can create a challenging work environment for nurses and, in some cases, undermine healing, compromise safety, and increase costs. Hospitals and clinicians are developing policies and taking other steps to make sure these technologies help, rather than hinder, the ability of nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide safe and effective care. The latest issue of Charting Nursing's Future looks at some of these technological advances, the challenges they bring, and potential solutions. To learn more, download the brief here.
On December 10, the Columbia Daily Tribune (Missouri) published an article titled "Nurse Residency Program Aims to Reduce Turnover," which profiled the successful post-baccalaureate residency program offered by Avila University and Boone Hospital Center. This program is part of a nationwide collaborative led by AACN and Vizient. To find out more about nurse residencies, click here.

December 14, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell has published a new article for the Health Affairs Blog titled Building a System that Works: The Future of Health Care. In this piece, Secretary Burwell calls for a collaborative response to advancing crucial delivery system reform efforts, including ongoing Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation initiatives. As the current Administration comes to a close, she discusses steps taken to change how we pay for health care, incentivize coordination, and unlock healthcare data.
On December 8, Inside Higher Ed highlighted a recent panel presentation at the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) in an article on
Defining the Master's Degree. With demand for master's programs growing, CGS is working to create a framework for curricula and expectations across diverse fields, which includes proposing a framework for master's level education defined by competencies, distinguished by metrics, and shaped by learner needs. 

December 7, 2016

Dr. Timothy Jost, Emeritus Professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, has published a new submission on the Health Affairs blog titled “Taking Stock of Health Reform: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going.”  In this post, the successes and failures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are considered as well as how the new Administration might proceed with amending, repealing, or replacing it. Dr. Jost also examines the provisions that the new Congress and Administration may adopt to try to replace the ACA and assess how they might improve on or undermine the ACA’s accomplishments.
Dr. Betty Nelson, dean of the University of Phoenix College of Health Professions School of Nursing, has written a new article in ADVANCE for Nursing magazine on the "
Upskilling the Nursing Workforce." In this piece, the author underscores the need for nurses to achieve higher levels of education to meet the healthcare needs of the nation and to prepare future leaders for the profession.

December 1, 2016

In the December 2016 issue of BMJ Quality & Safety, the international journal of healthcare improvement, Dr. Linda Aiken and her colleagues released findings from a study of acute care hospitals in Belgium, England, Finland, Ireland, Spain, and Switzerland, which found that a greater proportion of professional nurses at the bedside is associated with better outcomes for patients and nurses. Reducing nursing skill mix by adding assistive personnel without professional nurse qualifications may contribute to preventable deaths, erode care quality, and contribute to nurse shortages. This study is titled “Nursing Skill Mix in European Hospitals: Cross-sectional Study of the Association with Mortality, Patient Ratings, and Quality of Care.”

In the latest issue of Minority Nurse magazine, Dr. Janice Phillips, the Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools International, published an article on “
Health Policy Development and Engagement: What’s a Student to Do?” In this piece, the author discussed expected competencies for nursing school graduates related to health policy engagement, opportunities for policy development, and current legislative priorities.

November 16, 2016

In the November 2016 Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk from Western Governors University underscores the importance of preparing nurses to provide quality end-of-life care in an article titled “A Critical “P” in Patient-Centered Care: Palliative Care for All of Us.” The author profiles several resources to assist nurse educators looking to provide this training, including the new CARES document–Competencies and Recommendations for Educating Undergraduate Nursing Students– endorsed by AACN; the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium website, and new online modules for teaching palliative care to undergraduates, which may be accessed via Relias Learning in January 2017.

In the current issue of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, representatives from Maryland’s statewide nursing collaborative discuss how to structure a post-licensure nurse residency program to ensure sustained success. The authors review key guidelines set forth by AACN and its partner Vizient in an article on “Transforming Nursing Organizations through Implementation of Nurse Residency Programs.”

November 9, 2016

On November 7, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Melanie Evans on how, after years of relative equilibrium, the job market for registered nurses (RNs) is heating up in many markets, driving up wages and accelerating the use of sign-on bonuses for recruits to the nation's fifth-largest occupation. Titled Nurses Are Again in Demand, the article features data from workforce analyst Peter Buerhaus and his colleagues, which show that RNs are exiting the profession (largely due to retirement) at a much faster rate than those entering the field. Dr. Buerhaus will be presenting on the Future of the Nursing Workforce at AACN's Baccalaureate Education Conference in Anaheim, CA on November 19.

For its October blog, Minority Nurse magazine spoke with some men working in the field to find out what they believe could be done to help recruit more men into nursing careers. Titled We Want You! How to Recruit Male Nurses, suggestions include eliminating misconceptions, providing early education and mentorship, and explaining the benefits of working in the field.

November 2, 2016

The Health Affairs Blog provides a national forum for commentary and analysis on policy and issues affecting health and health care. The blog features posts from noted experts and commentators from a wide variety of perspectives as well as public comments. Two recent posts of interest to leaders in academic nursing include:

In the post
Primary Care Workforce: The Need to Remove Barriers for Nurse Practitioners and Physicians, authors Joanne Pohl, Anne Thomas, Debra Barksdale, and Kitty Werner argue that allowing Nurse Practitioners and physicians to practice to the full extent of their education and training will result in expanded access to quality primary care services and a reduction in unnecessary costs to the healthcare system.

Good health often begins in the social arena — influenced by access to adequate and safe housing, educational opportunities, child care, and other social determinants. The Health Affairs Blog recently launched a new featured topic on Health Equity to explore strategies for overcoming disparities and achieving equity. The first post in this series is
Ushering in the New Era of Health Equity by Dr. Joseph Betancourt, Director of The Disparities Solutions Center at  Massachusetts General Hospital.

October 26, 2016

Dr. Nalo Hamilton, faculty member from the University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing, has published a guest blog in Scientific American titled “Nurses Are Caretakers, Not Scientists, Right? Wrong.”  In this post, she explains how nursing practice has always been grounded in science and details the work she and her colleagues are doing to address important health issues through research in biological science.  Dr. Nalo concludes this opinion piece by saying that “research makes nursing even more relevant and transformative.”

American Nurse Today
has just released its
2017 Education Guide, which features insights from two of AACN’s top leaders. Board Chair Juliann Sebastian is quoted in an article on “Pathbreaking Educational Options for 21st Century Nurses” on the efficacy of using NursingCAS to apply to nursing programs and the importance of choosing an accredited program. President and CEO Deborah Trautman wrote the guide’s opening article on “Lifelong Learning: Your Catalyst for Success,” which explores the inextricable link between leadership and learning.

October 19, 2016

Educating nurses and other providers about the social determinants of health generates awareness about the potential root causes of ill health and the importance of addressing them in order to more effectively meet the healthcare needs of underserved individuals, communities, and populations. The National Academies Press has just released the final copy of its book, A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health, which may be downloaded for free and is available to read online. The World Health Organization defines the social determinants of health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.”

The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) recently released its annual report titled Preparing Nurses for New Roles in Population Health Management.  The report discusses the evolution of the healthcare system toward population health, and the steps needed for nursing education and practice to keep pace.  The report makes a number of recommendations to Congress and the Secretary for Health and Human Services, including changes in policy, legislation, and research intended to strengthen nursing’s ability to lead. For more information, please visit the NACNEP website.

October 12, 2016

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new publication on Exploring the Role of Accreditation in Enhancing Quality and Innovation in Health Professions Education, which can be downloaded online for free. This document is based on proceedings from a national workshop held in April 2016 with national accreditation experts. Dr. Jennifer Butlin, the executive director of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, served on the planning committee for this event. View the PowerPoint presentations and webcast videos from this workshop.
The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN), a peer-reviewed publication produced by the American Nurses Association (ANA), has posted a new series on the Elimination of Barriers to RN Scope of Practice: Opportunities and Challenges. The six featured articles focus on the concept of the full RN scope of practice, resulting from the work of the ANA Professional Issues Panel on Barriers to RN Scope of Practice. Read the series introduction written by Dr. Kathy Baker from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and Dr. Tracy Williams from Norton Healthcare.

October 5, 2016

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has issued a new report titled Registered Nurses: Partners in Transforming Primary Care that includes recommendations for academic nursing leaders, primary care practices, and health systems on preparing RNs for enhanced roles in primary care. The report stems from the foundation’s June 2016 conference, which brought together more than 40 leaders in nursing, primary care, healthcare delivery, philanthropy, academia and other arenas to generate actionable recommendations around the potential for registered nurses to help meet today’s urgent needs in primary care. AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman participated in these proceedings.

The Macy Foundation will present an overview of this new report and its key findings in a webinar scheduled for October 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm (ET). Those interested in finding out more are encouraged to RSVP now.

September 28, 2016

Inside Higher Ed recently featured an article on effective strategies for increasing diversity within the faculty population in a piece titled “Not Just Musical Chairs.” With a look at the work underway to create a more representative faculty at Brown University, Yale, the University of Maryland, and the University of Missouri, the experts urge collaboration across institutions and within disciplines to address this urgent need.

Dr. Betty Nelson, dean of the University of Phoenix College of Health Professions School of Nursing, has published a “Guide to Becoming an Effective Nurse Leader” in this week’s issue of ADVANCE for Nurses.  Dr. Nelson distills the lessons learned as a Chief Nursing Officer and a top academic administrator, and discusses the importance of education in developing leadership capabilities. This piece is featured in the magazine’s new Focus on Education supplement.

September 21, 2016

Through the Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative, the National Academy of Medicine called on more than 100 leading researchers, scientists, and policy makers from across the United States to provide expert guidance on 19 focus areas for U.S. health policy. This call has generated a series of papers organized around three overarching goals: better health and well-being; high-value health care; and strong science and technology. Several nurses contributed to this series including Dr. Bobbie Berkowitz from Columbia University (Workforce for 21st Century Health and Health Care) and Dr. Mary Naylor from the University of Pennsylvania (Preparing for Better Health and Health Care for an Aging Population).

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) has released its new
Strategic Plan, Advancing Science, Improving Lives: A Vision for Nursing Science, which details the Institute’s priorities for the conduct and support of future nursing science. The plan was shaped, in part, by the NINR Innovative Questions initiative, which encourages new thinking and creativity in nursing science from the broader scientific community and general public. 

The Council of Graduate Schools has released a new report showing that individuals from  underrepresented minority groups saw greater increases in first-time graduate school enrollment than their White, non-Hispanic counterparts. Among first-time U.S. citizens and permanent resident graduate students in Fall 2015, at least 22.5% were underrepresented minorities, including American Indian/Alaska Native (0.5%), Black/African American (11.8%), Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (0.2%), and Hispanic/Latino (10%). The new report is titled Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2005-2015.

September 14, 2016

In the latest issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, leading healthcare economist Peter Buerhaus from Montana State University discusses "The 4 Forces that Will Reshape Nursing," which include a wave of retirements, physician shortages, an aging patient population, and healthcare reform.  Dr. Buerhaus projects that one-third of the nursing workforce will retire over the next 10 years. 
Both Modern Healthcare Magazine and Crain's Cleveland Business recently published stories on how more hospitals and health systems are requiring the baccalaureate degree for frontline nurses. These practice sites are changing their educational requirements in response to the Institute of Medicine's recommendation that at least 80% of the RN workforce hold a BSN by 2020.


September 7, 2016

Since 2006, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published a series of reports under the banner of Charting Nursing's Future as a tool to catalyze change, both in health care and in public health, and to inform policymakers of innovations being developed and led by nurses. Each issue expertly synthesizes the latest information on many complex topics facing the profession, including academic progression, innovations in clinical nursing education, enhancing diversity in the workforce, and most recently, nursing's role in responding to disasters. Visit the series archives online.
More than 110 nursing schools across the nation offer both PhD and DNP programs, which opens the door to collaboration and synergy. Two recent articles in Nursing Outlook examine the challenges and benefits that are realized when faculty from practice- and research-focused doctoral programs work together: Strategic Innovation Between PhD and DNP Programs: Collaboration, Collegiality, and Shared Resources (July-August 2016 issue) and Determinants for Effective Collaboration among DNP and PhD-Prepared Faculty (in press; available online).


August 24, 2016

According to a survey of leaders at 251 colleges and universities active or interested in competency-based education (CBE), researchers with the American Council on Education found that even while interest in CBE is rising, implementation of CBE courses and programs remain gradual as higher education institutions are exploring how to embrace the complexity required to bring them to scale. Access of the results of this study, which is titled Competency-Based Education: Rising Interest, Gradual Implementation.

In the March-April 2016 issue of Nursing Economics, researcher Timothy Snavely examines issues surrounding the current and projected state of the U.S. nursing workforce and asserts that the impending imbalance between nursing supply and demand will likely have a negative impact on the healthcare system and the nation's overall economic health. See the article on A Brief Economic Analysis of the Looming Nursing Shortage In the United States.