Archives for October 2011

Niagara University reopens nursing program to alleviate nurse shortage

Niagara University is reopening its nursing program in response to the current nursing shortage and anticipating future demand for nurses, according to this story from The Buffalo News.

The Catholic university reportedly closed its decades-old nursing program in 2002 “due to a steep decline in market demand for nurses.”

The accelerated 12-month program begins in May, and the four-year degree program starts next fall.

Northeastern Wisconsin finds nursing balance

(Green Bay Press Gazette) Recession and the continuing difficult economy put nursing shortages in Wisconsin on hold, but it’s a situation not expected to last.

In the meantime, there seems to be a balance in Northeastern Wisconsin between nursing graduates and available jobs.

Bellin College in Bellevue and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay each reported near 95 percent placement rates for recent graduates.

It might take a little longer to land a job, and it might not be the preferred category or work shift, but the jobs are there, said Kay Tupala, dean of Health Science at NWTC. [Read more…]

MidState nurses picket over pensions, pay

(Record Journal) MERIDEN – MidState Medical Center nurses began picketing outside the hospital Friday morning to protest a plan to revoke their pensions and what they consider inequities in their pay scale.

There are 340 nurses who are members of the Connecticut Health Care Associates, a division of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union has been in negotiations for a new three-year contract with MidState for several months, but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement before the contract expired Sept. 30. A mediation session is scheduled for Thursday.

Unionized nurses typically make $27 an hour at hiring, and up to $44.50 an hour once they reach the top of the pay scale. Past contract negotiations have typically settled on raises of 2 percent to 5 percent, and nurses last had a pay increase last November. [Read more…]

CDC report says Montco nursing home had strep outbreak

( A weekly report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that a Montgomery County nursing home had an outbreak of invasive group A streptococcus, a life-threatening bacterial infection, that it termed “one of the largest and most prolonged” such outbreaks in a nursing facility.

The center’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said that between Oct. 12, 2009, and Sept. 22, 2010, 13 residents of the facility had the invasive strep, and two died. Ten residents had noninvasive strep infections.

The report, written by public health authorities including representatives of the state and Montgomery County health departments, concluded that long-term care facilities should investigate single cases of invasive strep infection and make sure good infection-control practices are in place. [Read more…]

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center nurses prepare for strike

(LA Times) Hundreds of registered nurses at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center could go on strike next week if contract negotiations with the hospital’s management fail.

Union members authorized the strike after two days of voting, according to Margie Keenan, a 38-year registered nurse at the hospital and secretary of the California Nurses Assn.  “It was an overwhelming majority,” Keenan said Friday.

The union represents about 1,900 registered nurses at the hospital, according to Keenan.

The hospital employs 2,000 registered nurses, hospital officials say.

The union’s action comes a few days before bargaining members meet with hospital officials in an effort to settle a month-long contract dispute. But Keenan said the strike would be put off if they were making headway on negotiations by Tuesday or Wednesday. [Read more…]

Occupy Wall Street’s Nurses Face Coming Flu Season

Hypothermia, skin infections, sprained ankles, and the common cold — these are just some of the ailments treated by Occupy Wall Street’s volunteer medics who staff a makeshift clinic inside Zuccotti Park. And flu season is coming.

At the National Nurses United tent, there’s at least one registered nurse present around the clock. The encampment is also home, at times, to paramedics, herbalists, acupuncturists, a therapy dog and a veterinarian. There’s a self-service area where protesters can help themselves to vitamins.

The cramped and exposed conditions in which the protesters have been living for more than six weeks have worsened some health risks. [Read more…]

Nursing students deal with patient’s ‘death’

When the Hospital Wing helicopter touched down on the Union University nursing school’s Germantown campus Wednesday morning, many of the students braced for a new experience:

Their patient’s death.

In a unique simulation created by Professor Pat Keene, students raced against the clock beginning at 8 a.m. to stabilize the bruised and bloody mannequin representing fictional patient Hannah Elizabeth Jeffries, 24.

Jeffries sustained significant head injuries in a car crash, and by 9 a.m., she was declared brain dead. Students were also told that on top of the head trauma, Jeffries was 37 weeks’ pregnant.

“It felt like a legitimate scenario,” said senior Erin Reid, 21. [Read more…]

Fourteen trusts rated worst by first official hospital death rate

( Fourteen hospital trusts have been identified as the poorest performers in the first official hospital-wide mortality ratings.

The NHS Information Centre published the summary hospital-level mortality indicator (SHMI) for all non-specialist acute trusts today, after the measure was agreed by a Department of Health review.

The 14 trusts that have been given the lowest banding score of one, after statistical adjustments have been applied, are likely to face attention from the national and local media.

Several of the 14 have been poorly rated previously by similar indicators, such as the Doctor Foster hospital standardised mortality ratio, or have had quality problems highlighted by regulators. [Read more…]

Pioneering Device Could Give Student Nurses a Shot in the Arm

Getting a yearly flu shot or other vaccination, while generally considered a wise health move, is hardly anyone’s idea of fun. Now, a breakthrough device from University of New Hampshire researchers aims to ensure that such shots are as effective – and painless — as possible.

UNH nursing and electrical engineering faculty have crossed departmental lines to create a “smart” training syringe that will help nurses and other health care professionals learn how to give the most effective intramuscular injections by providing real-time feedback. It’s the first device of its type ever created.

“We want to be sure people are getting the medicine in the muscle where it’s going to work. This would be a way to ensure that people are getting immunized,” says Paula McWilliam, assistant professor of nursing, who is collaborating with professor John LaCourse, chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering. Tyler Rideout, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, and undergraduates Amanda Makowiecki ’14 (electrical engineering) and Holly Parker ‘13 (nursing) are assisting, as did Dana Daukssa ’11 (biochemistry). [Read more…]

Nursing students win case against college

Students never got nursing degrees they expected

Seventy former nursing students who attended Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont. in 1997 and 1998 have won their case against the school, reports the Belleville Intelligencer.

The college told students that they could earn a four-year degree from Queen’s University, but Queen’s decided not to offer such degrees and students never got those credentials. A judge decided that Loyalist breached its contractual obligations with students by not providing degrees. Loyalist must reimburse students’ legal costs and further compensation may yet be announced. Even then, the matter may not be over. Loyalist has filed a lawsuit against Queen’s.