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HealthLeaders Top 10 Nursing Stories of 2018

Analysis  |  By Jennifer Thew RN  
   December 07, 2018

Here's a roundup of our most popular nursing stories of the year.

Life can get hectic, especially at this time of year as both the flu and holiday seasons ramp up. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of HealthLeaders' most read stories on topics affecting the nursing profession in 2018, so that busy nurse leaders can catch up on articles they might have missed.

This year education preparation, patient experience, and nurse stressors were among the most popular topics that piqued readers' interest. Here is the list of HealthLeaders' top 10 nursing stories ranked by popularity.

#10. Nurse Stressors: It's Not Just Patient Volume and Acuity

While patient volume and acuity play a role in a nurse's ability to provide optimal care, so does "subjective workload," say researchers at The Ohio State University. Subjective workload includes everything from the mental pressures of the job to time constraints and affects a nurse's ability to deliver quality care, regardless of the number of patients. 

#9. Patient Experience Is Bigger Than HCAHPS Scores

A difficult experience with the healthcare industry inspired Sharon Quinlan, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, vice president/chief nursing officer of ambulatory at Advocate Aurora Health, to improve patient experience through patient- and family-centered care. She shares some of her insights on enhancing patient experience.

#8.  5 Things You Should Know About the Nursing Shortage

Understanding national trends in nurse staffing is necessary, but overlooking the finer details, such as what's occurring in specific geographic areas or specialties, ignores the complexities of nurse supply and demand. Heidi Sanborn, DNP, RN, CNE, clinical assistant professor and interim director of the RN-BSN, and concurrent enrollment program in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University in Phoenix shares five observations on the nursing shortage that should be considered in the workforce forecasts. 

#7. APRNs Targeted by AMA Resolution

The American Medical Association crafted a resolution to create a strategic campaign to oppose legislation that supports APRN independent practice, despite evidence that advanced practice registered nurses improve outcomes and access to care. The campaign also takes aim at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's APRN Compact model. Many nursing groups, including the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, were not pleased with the move, which was driven by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

#6. 4 Elements That Enhance Patient Experience

At AONE 2018, Chip Heath, an expert in organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, spoke about creating nurse-patient moments that can positively influence patient experience. According to Heath, positive moments between nurses and patients involve four specific qualities—elevation, insight, pride, and connection. By focusing on those elements, nurses can improve a patient's healthcare experience.

#5. House Passes Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act

Nursing groups responded favorably to the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (HR 959) in 2018. Last reauthorized in 2010, the act would reauthorize the nursing workforce development programs through fiscal year 2022.

The legislation will continue nursing workforce development programs, which support the recruitment, retention, and advanced education of skilled nursing professionals. It will also extend advanced education nursing grants to support clinical nurse specialists and clinical nurse leaders, define nurse-managed health clinics, add clinical nurse specialists to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education, and reauthorize loan repayments, scholarships, and grants for education, practice, quality, and retention.

#4. Nurse Suicide is Real. Don't Ignore it.

While there is a great deal of discussion about burnout and compassion fatigue among nurses, nurse suicide is a topic that is not often discussed. While national data on nurse suicide rates is lacking, that doesn't mean it's not an issue. Nurse leaders should recognize and respond to factors that contribute to nurse suicide and take specific actions to prevent it.


#3. Nurse Practitioner Salaries on the Rise

Over the past decade, both the number of and need for nurse practitioners has grown and, so too, have their salaries. In a 2018 study, NPs reported an average salary of $113,900, an increase of 6.6% over last year's average reported salary of $106,000. The survey also found that sign-on bonuses are becoming more common.  

#2. Your Nurses Can Fix Your Hospital

Healthcare leadership that is eager to tackle the many challenges of running a healthcare organization may be overlooking a large and effective group of change agents—nurses. RNs can improve quality and outcomes, enhance an organization's culture, and build relationships with patients, colleagues, and the community if given the opportunity. Three nurse leaders share their thoughts on how nurses can influence change in healthcare and drive innovation.


And the No. 1 most-popular HealthLeaders nursing story:


#1. BSN in 10 becomes law

In 2018, New York became the first state to pass a law requiring new nurses to earn a bachelor's degree within 10 years of initial licensure. The legislation went into effect immediately but the requirement that nurses obtain a baccalaureate degree or higher within 10 years of licensure doesn't begin until 2021. The new education requirement does not affect nurses already in practice.

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.


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