Editor’s Corner, December 2007
Another year has gone by with all its challenges and blessings.
I hope all of you had a good holiday break and have all your batteries charged for the bright new year ahead.
In this issue, in addition to interesting news items from the world of nursing, we also bring you the highlights from a great destination for all nurses: Austin, TX. We'll continue to spotlight other great American cities in 2008 to underscore the fantastic career opportunities Nurse Recruiter makes available through its sponsoring employers.
Also in this issue is the summary of an important study conducted by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Academy of Nursing in 2007. The study aims to help our hard-working nurses by providing them with the technological solutions they need in their daily work.
My new year's resolution is to lose some weight, schedule more "quality time" with my family and friends, and be more appreciative of all the good things I already have. What's yours?
May you have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Ugur Akinci, Ph.D.
Stats About Nurse Shortage
Among all the 50 states, the nurse shortage is worst in Alaska.
Connecticut has 23,500 RNs, 6,000 short of the real need. By 2020, the number of CT nurses will fall to 15,000 and the need for extra nurses will mushroom to 22,400.
America's nurse shortage began in 1998 according to a study published in Health Affairs.
By 2020, there will be a shortage of 340,000 nurses in the United States. If it weren't for the measures taken within the last 9 years, the gap would have been 760,000 nurses.
130,000 applicants were turned away in 2006 from nursing schools, according to a report by the National League of Nursing, in order to maintain the student-faculty ratios.
The average age of U.S. nurses is 44. A full-time registered nurse working for a hospital and with an associate's or bachelor's degree earns $50,000 to $60,000 a year on the average.
Shelburne, VT Nurse Helps Poor Children Receive Free Craniofacial Surgery
Terri Patrin of Shelburne, VT wants all children around the world to have faces as beautiful as those of her own grandchildren. To help that dream come true, Patin, a nurse for 25 years at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, has led 20 trips around the world to offer kids in need help with craniofacial corrective surgery.
In 2007 alone she has made four trips around the world, including one to Peru in November, making the best of her skills as a recovery room nurse. On each mission 35 to 65 children undergo 1.5-to-2 hours of free surgery each to correct their cleft lips and palates.
Patrin's mission of mercy is supported by Medical Missions for Children, a Woburn, Mass., nonprofit organization that provides "surgical, medical and dental services to disadvantaged children and young adults in some of the world's poorest countries."
When asked to express her sentiments, Patrin said "the world is my neighborhood. Nobody charges for anything, and all the time and the resources are donated. The families and their kids get the services they wouldn't otherwise." We take our hats off for RN Patrin.
University of Toledo and Wright State University in Dayton, OH to Offer Ph.D. Degrees
Those nurses in Ohio who'd like get their doctoral degrees now have two new alternatives: University of Toledo (UT) and Wright State University (WSU) in Dayton have decided to offer doctoral programs in nursing practice to qualified nurses. The goal is to train more qualified leaders for an industry that is facing a chronic shortage of both line practitioners and advanced degree holders.
The programs, the first of their kind offered by a public university in Ohio, have been approved by the Ohio Board of Regents.
Jeri Milstead, Dean of UT's College of Nursing, said the program is geared to prepare nurses not only for "sick care" for individuals but also for wellness of the masses.
"They'll be analyzing systems of providing care, so they will be in a position to lead and direct the new health-care systems that are in the process of developing in this country," Milsted said.
Bobbe Gray, an associate professor at Wright State's college of nursing and health, directs the doctoral program at WSU. Gray said "there is so much opportunity for [the graduates] to work with health-care systems and so much opportunity for them to develop programs that will improve the health of our local citizens."
The program will kick off on February 18, 2008 with 10 doctoral students in each university for a total of 20 students. To graduate, the students will have to take 36 semester credits at UT or 54 quarter credits at Wright State. A part-time student will be able to complete the program in 4 years and have their degree from both universities.
Illinois Patients Receive the Gift of Love from Canine Visitors
The relationship between pets and good health is undeniable, though medical science still cannot fully explain why.
The patients at Washington Square Healthcare Center of Illinois are enjoying weekly visits from their canine friends without worrying much about how to explain the real and positive effects such visits are having on their live sand medical conditions.
Sam, a Doberman pinscher, is one particularly popular dog whose visit is eagerly awaited at the Center. There are others provided by K'9s for Compassion, a non-profit organization who trains these "healthcare dogs."
Sam is brought to the center by Tom and Carol Zeller who have witnessed how alert and animated patients become when they see Sam next to their beds and pet and start to talk to him.
Betty Bennett, activities director at the nursing home, couldn't be happier about Sam's visits.
"He goes from room to room. We have some residents who really brighten up when he visits. They really focus their attention on the dog," Bennett said.
"People are OK, but I'd rather have a dog around," said a Center resident. "It's heaven having him here."
Given the clear positive impact of Sam on the lives of the Center's residents, cats and birds are also being trained to bring hope and joy to the lives of other patients in similar healthcare institutions.
Great Destinations for Nurses: Austin, Texas
Nurse Recruiter will put you in touch with excellent employers with positions open in almost every city across the United States. Starting with this issue and upon popular demand, we'll spotlight some of these great destinations and highlight some of the attractions.
Our first destination is Austin, the great capital of the Lone Star State. It's a lively and beautiful college "town" with a population fast approaching one million. An easy and still relaxed lifestyle thrives alongside the new high-tech belt surrounding the old city. It's also home to plenty of hospitals and health care facilities in need of nurses.
Here are 7 cool things to do in Austin:
1) Take the free ARMADILLO BUS TOUR of downtown and the University of Texas (UT) campus. City of Austin offers 5 different free public bus circuits where you can travel all around the Capitol neighborhood and go all the way up the hill to the UT campus, hop off at Texas State History Museum and Blanton Museum of Art, or stop over at any of the dozens of city attractions on your route.
2) Visit BOB BULLOCK TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM, located in a grandiose Texas-size modern building right at the edge of UT campus. You can watch fascinating IMAX movies about the history of Texas and see exhibitions on many defining moments that made the Lone Star State the unique state that it is today.
3) If you love fine arts, make sure to stop by at University of Texas' BLANTON MUSEUM OF ART, right diagonally across from the TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM. There is always one or more great exhibitions going. There is also a permanent exhibition of great Greek and Roman statues, vases, and Roman artifacts and replicas. Important resource for students and life-time learners.
4) You cannot say you've been to Austin if you have not eaten a bucket of ribs and brisket at RUDY's COUNTRY STORE and Bar-B-Q. The sign on the wall of the old barn converted into a "BBQ depot" reads "The Worst Bar-B-Q in the Country" but don't you believe it! It has to be the BEST. There are no plates at Rudy's and what they humorously do call "plates" are nothing more than sheets of waxed paper. After done, you wash your hands in a ranch-style wash basin in the back.
5) The 6th Street. Yes. That's where it's happening. Live music. Clubs. Bars. Night life. Theater. Shows. Restaurants of all kinds, for all budgets. If you like the buzz, that's your address. Make sure stop by at ANTONES, one of the oldest and best blues clubs in the whole country.
6) THE TEXAS CAPITOL is a great building to visit and an equally important institution to understand. Join one of the guided tours to learn a lot in a short time. Texas legislature meets only in odd-numbered years and when they do they meet, they do so for only 140 days. So if you visit in even-numbered years, or in the second half of the odd-numbered years you can take a guided tour of both the Senate chamber and the House of Representatives. Admission is free and open to the general public.
7) Take a leisurely walk along THE DRAG, the section of the GUADALUPE street that runs parallel to the Univ of Texas campus. Enjoy both the local stores and the ambiance of a colorful mix of college students, intellectual types, artists and craftsmen, street musicians, cafes, bookstores, all blended in a generally laid-back mellow atmosphere. Check out the THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS TOWER looming high over the landscape. It is the infamous site of the 1973 "Tower Sniper" incident.
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