Top 12 Nursing Stories of 2010
The nursing workforce is aging. The average age of licensed RNs is 47 and nearly 45% of RNs were 50 years of age or older in 2008. The looming crisis presented by experienced nurses leaving the workforce spurred the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to launch a national program to find out what will keep experienced nurses in hospital settings and find out what effect existing interventions have on the work environment for older nurses.
Justice finally prevailed in this disturbing case in Texas where a nurse observed a physician displaying serious lapses in competence and judgment that put patients at risk. Although eventually being found innocent, the case displayed the danger all healthcare whistleblowers feel when standing up to powerful interests.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing raised the passing standard on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to ensure new nurses are sufficiently ready to take on the growing needs of sicker patients.
If California's mandatory nurse-patient ratios had been in effect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hospitals in 2006, those states would have seen 10.6% and 13.9% fewer deaths among general surgical patients. That equated to 468 lives that might have been saved, says Linda Aiken, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the study's lead author.
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