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Meet 15 Nurses Who Disrupted Healthcare through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Artwork and content credit – Johnson&Johnson Nursing.

Amid a global pandemic, when the world needed their leadership in healthcare more than ever, nurses answered the call. Johnson & Johnson is celebrating National Nurses Month 2021 by sharing the stories of 15 nurse healthcare disruptors, just some of the many nurses who led the way through COVID-19.

This past year, no one was immune to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought unprecedented challenges to the healthcare industry and the world. But despite the devastation, we have seen a bright spot – an inspiring nursing workforce that has truly stepped in, problem-solved, and disrupted the day-to-day, shaping and impacting patient care for the better. Nurses found innovative solutions to the challenges of COVID-19 and stretched their presence far beyond traditional settings to deliver care and meet the moment, with potentially long-lasting impacts on the future of healthcare and nursing. And through it all, nurses continued to change lives by bringing ingenuity to the everyday issues impacting their patients and communities.

Because of this, National Nurses Month 2021 is like no other. Johnson & Johnson is excited to celebrate and share the stories of 15 nurse healthcare disruptors, some of the many who led the way through the global pandemic.

Throughout the past year, nurses like Leslie Gevedon, MS, RN of HCA Healthcare’s TriStar Division in Nashville, Tennessee, stepped into entirely new roles to support COVID-19 prevention, treatment and vaccination efforts.

As a member of HCA’s clinical informatics team, it had been eight years since Leslie provided patient care. But after hearing about staffing shortages, Leslie volunteered to take on the new role of implementation and coordination of the vaccine clinics for the greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities. By establishing a centralized location for vaccine distribution, Leslie transformed logistics for this historic and massive task. On December 17, 2020, Leslie hosted the first vaccination clinic, where she and her team saw an incredible demand and were able to vaccinate an average of 1,000 patients a day. Her thoughtful and efficient staffing of the clinics minimized wait times for patients and enabled the clinic to offer appointments to local first responders as well. As of March 24, more than 20,000 vaccinations had been given throughout the Middle Tennessee community. In addition to her work in vaccine distribution, Leslie led trainings for her colleagues who had similarly spent time away from direct patient care, improving the team’s ability to care for COVID-19 patients.

Lizzy Mulcahy, MSN, FNP-C, also embraced an entirely new role as part of the pandemic response, driving nurse-led innovation in the launch of a COVID-19 remote monitoring program.

At Ochsner Health in Louisiana, Lizzy worked with the innovationOchsner (iO) and Ochsner Nurse On Call teams to launch the health system’s COVID-19 remote monitoring program, helping to save lives by monitoring pre-acute and post-acute patients with digital metrics. Ongoing tracking of patients’ information in two-week intervals enabled Ochsner to visualize trends and preempt worsening COVID-19 symptoms. Lizzy brought her deep knowledge of patient care and collaborative practices and even deeper connections throughout the health system to design, staff and gain buy-in for a highly effective program that has now provided care to more than 3,500 patients. Lizzy took steps to problem solve, innovate and lead positive change, making a lasting impact on her patients, the health system and her colleagues.

In a year that uprooted in-person schooling, school nurses across Seaford School District in Delaware found ways to contribute their public health expertise to the greater community.

When Delaware schools closed or went remote in early 2020, nurses across the Seaford School District knew that students and families would continue to depend on them for ongoing support. They rose to the occasion, as a broad unit, to meet that need. They established response plans, developed videos and other educational materials on hygiene and health best practices, and even delivered food to families who were in need and without transportation when schools shut down. In addition to conducting daily welfare checks with families, the nurses also figured out a system to return medication and medical supplies to students’ parents with no contact – an undertaking that required massive creative thinking and heavy coordination from location to location. This network of school nurses stepped in to protect the health and well-being of entire communities, utilizing ingenuity and collaboration that stretched far beyond the boundaries of the schoolyard.

Some nurses like Laura Reichhardt, MS, AGPCNP, RN of Hawaii State Center for Nursing, advocated for policies that would better position healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

As frontline healthcare workers, nurses have had a unique vantage point into the role of the government in ensuring adequate resources for pandemic response – and Laura used that insight to the benefit of the greater good. Working closely with state government, Laura developed the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation to waive licensure requirements for new AD, BS, and NP-DNP graduates so they could be hired by Hawaii as well as other states’ health systems. This effort was critical in dealing with COVID-19 surges not just in Hawaii, but in other states as well, as it bolstered the nursing workforce to help address staffing shortages throughout the pandemic.

Other nurses, like Jeanette Ives Erickson (shown on right), stepped into old roles, bringing their decades of experience and passion back into the workforce in a critical time of need.

While many recent nursing graduates jumpstarted their careers by mobilizing to support COVID-19 relief efforts, Jeanette (pictured right in the above image), jumped out of retirement to provide patient care. In early 2020, Jeanette, chief nurse emerita at Massachusetts General Hospital, opened Boston’s first COVID-19 field hospital, Boston Hope, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the city of Boston, Mass General Brigham Health System and the MGH Home Base Program, whose mission is to care for returning veterans. Jeanette’s decades of experience and expertise in health systems coordination uniquely equipped her to take on this new role and drive sustainable support for patients in need throughout her state. Her contributions did not go unnoticed; a recent Boston Globe publication about local trailblazers during the pandemic recognized Jeanette as a dynamic nurse leader among a list including several physicians and CEOs.

Amid a constantly changing health landscape, nurses like Tarik Khan, MSN, RN, FNP-BC and PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing showed up for underserved communities, bringing ingenuity and innovation to those who needed it most.

When asked about the most significant challenge to health that his work helped to address this year, Tarik named vulnerable populations and their access to healthcare. Central to his work is his belief that being a health educator and community advocate is an essential part of nursing. “It’s important for nurses to be that advocate and to serve our patients outside of the bedside,” he said. Over the past year in Philadelphia, Tarik has focused on enhancing access for underserved residents by launching a home visit program to get low-income or home-bound individuals registered for COVID-19 vaccines, and he’s also bringing vaccines directly to these populations when he can. Utilizing advocacy as another strong skillset, he has also appeared consistently in local media to raise public awareness about vaccine science and he has successfully engaged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to update local regulations in ways that support more equitable access to immunizations for communities of color.

Over the past year, Bradley Bigford, MSN, APRN-FNP of Table Rock Mobile Medicine, also answered the call to improve access to care for communities struggling with the impacts of the pandemic.

Bradley put his heart into putting the needs of the local community front and center. When COVID-19 cases began to rise in Idaho, local supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) rapidly vanished. Bradley conducted a community-wide call for help on social media and orchestrated a shared supply between local health facilities to ensure equal distribution. As the year progressed, Bradley focused on amplifying science-based public awareness about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccinations, despite a severe lack of information and at times, misinformation, in his community. As a result, Bradley’s story was featured in The New York Times alongside other pro-vaccine doctors and advocates.

For a nurse epidemiologist and recognized expert in infectious diseases and infection control like Ruth Carrico, PhD, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, FSHEA, CIC of the University of Louisville, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique opportunity to leverage her expertise.

Ruth’s drive to improve efficiency and patient outcomes has been instrumental in organizing LouVax, Louisville’s COVID-19 vaccination operation at Broadbent Arena. Her proven acumen as an organizer, educator and leader has equipped her to train more than 4,000 nurse volunteers to administer the vaccine. She has also been a dedicated and compassionate supporter of nursing students, who, under her leadership and the supervision of clinical instructors, have been administering rapid COVID-19 tests. During Ruth’s tenure as president and immediate past president of the Kentucky Nurses Association, she has provided 28 free continuing education programs about COVID-19 prevention and testing for more than 1,000 nurses.

A registered nurse for over 24 years, Amy Runge, MEd, BSN, RN of the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC), leaned into an entirely new challenge last year: overseeing one of the largest COVID-19 testing sites in the state of Nevada.

“With the recent pandemic, my role transitioned dramatically,” Amy said. “As the manager of a department that focuses on education and injury prevention, we came to a pause. Our efforts then focused on creating and managing testing sites to identify and reduce the spread of COVID-19.” And those efforts were a success. Over the past year, Amy and her team administered over 85,000 COVID-19 tests, keeping the health and well-being of her community front and center. Yet her drive to expand community ties during challenging times did not end with her day job—she organized large-scale community events, including a drive-thru Halloween celebration for more than 1,000 local children and a drive-thru Thanksgiving celebration that provided meals for local seniors. Amy’s commitment to her community is emblematic of nurses’ commitment to patient care in every sense of the word. “It has been a truly rewarding feeling to be involved in the efforts to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and misinformation regarding it,” she said.

An educator at Columbia VA Health Care System in South Carolina, Kristie Alvey, APRN used her positive spirit and compassionate attitude to make a meaningful difference in a year when positivity was hard to come by.

Kristie embraced the new challenge of cross-training bedside nurses for med-surg and ICU, while healthcare providers were sick, and units were at capacity. She later helped to open a new clinic to vaccinate between 150 and 500 people per day. Kristie believes her ability to partner with and support her colleagues has proven to be invaluable in supporting the truly monumental task of vaccinating patients and “Kicking Covid to the Curb in 2021,” as is the Clinic’s motto. She is invested in inspiring her colleagues, caring for their health, and making a positive impact on the clinical environment during periods of high stress. By leading with care and compassion, her efforts during the past year have transformed her colleagues’ experience and helped them provide enhanced care to patients in need.

Nurses like Garrett Chan, PhD, RN, APRN, FAEN, FPCN, FCNS, FNAP, FAAN, President and CEO of HealthImpact, have always been driven by improving health and saving lives – creating entirely new platforms to power health where none existed before.

Garrett knew that although there were ample opportunities to volunteer in underserved communities, they were hard to find. So, he created VaxForce, a volunteer registration and matching system for healthcare professionals and students to staff vaccination events throughout California. The website has addressed a critical health equity need by enabling passionate healthcare volunteers to provide vaccinations for underserved communities in California, including agricultural and farm workers, who would not otherwise have access to this type of healthcare resource. In just one six-week period, VaxForce facilitated five vaccination events and the administration of 1,030 doses. Garrett’s commitment to health equity in a year with unprecedented challenges has made a positive impact in the lives of many.

In a year when access to healthcare was more important than ever, Danielle Pendergrass, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, embraced a new way of providing services to her 20,000 patients living in rural Utah.

As a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Danielle addressed a significant need nine years ago when she opened Eastern Utah Women’s Health, a clinic focused on providing women’s health services to a largely underserved rural population with limited access to any form of women-centered care. When rates of COVID-19 began to rise, Danielle quickly pivoted and began offering telehealth to all of her patients, giving her the opportunity to treat even more underserved populations and greatly increasing overall access to care for the region. As Danielle says, “I have been able to reach so many women who would otherwise not be able to travel the 100, 200, and even 300 miles to access the health center.” Danielle’s commitment to care and expertise has earned her national recognition, including being featured on a segment on NPR’s All Things Considered about providing healthcare in rural areas during the pandemic. Additionally, Danielle has been instrumental in changing Utah’s Medicaid policy to allow all nurse practitioners to directly bill and be reimbursed by Medicaid at 100% the physician’s rate. By partnering with local, state and federal agencies, Danielle is doing her part to ensure that all women have access to affordable healthcare.

Nurse-led and nurse-driven innovation can have a lasting impact on health systems, like the hybrid approach to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) championed by Eileen R. Faulds, PhD, MS, RN, FNP-BC, CDE (shown on right) and her team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Nurses like Eileen are natural innovators and disruptors, committed to addressing emergent challenges with skills and expertise. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to infiltrate health systems, Eileen and her fellow members of the inpatient diabetes management service at Wexner became increasingly concerned about the associated health risks for COVID-19 patients on IV insulin, given that the therapy requires hourly point-of-care glucose monitoring for its safe and effective use. To address this challenge, Eileen partnered with a multi-disciplinary team to develop a new hybrid glucose monitoring protocol for COVID-19 patients with major comorbidities which included using outpatient continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in an inpatient setting to reduce point of care testing and therefore potential exposure to the nursing staff. The hybrid approach to CGM has been implemented in the team’s COVID-19 medical intensive care unit and has made a lasting contribution to the field: the technique has been shared globally and is now in use in dozens of health systems across the country.

Connie Johnson MSN, RN, WCC, LLE, OMS, DWC is another nurse who led a new approach this year that led to improved patient outcomes – and a global impact.

As a wound care nurse and ostomy management specialist at Princeton Medical Center in New Jersey, Connie was concerned that patients diagnosed with COVID-19 would be at significant risk for decubiti, a pressure-induced ulceration of the skin occurring in persons confined to bed for long periods of time, while hospitalized. Along with other colleagues, Connie led an effort to develop a padding system and rotational positioning schedule that safely positioned patients to help alleviate pressure from skin sores or breakdowns. The results were significant: once this system was put in place, no patients at her hospital suffered from pressure sores or decubiti. Following the success of the approach, Connie and her team conducted additional research, which is pending publication. The novel approach she has developed could be adopted globally as a new standard in proning and patient care, an incredible example of nurse-led disruption and innovation resulting in improved patient outcomes.

As the pandemic put significant stress on health centers across the country, Tanya Henry, RN, BSN, MSHM of Columbia VA Health Care System, Columbia, South Carolina, stepped up and took charge.

Tanya, the Nurse Manager in the cardiology and medicine clinics, volunteered to oversee the coordination and staffing at a COVID-19 patient entry point on the main campus. She created staffing plans, solicited volunteers and constantly motivated staff to conduct consistent, reliable screenings. She also developed a protocol for testing facilities so that nurses and staff would be better equipped to assess, order, and perform COVID-19 tests. Through her leadership, the VA was able to build a cohesive, high-functioning team in a time of unprecedented need. Thanks to Tanya’s innovative leadership, the entire screening and testing operation for the medical center has been nurse-led and nurse-driven.

From establishing and leading new initiatives and new procedures, to influencing policy, to caring for the underserved and meeting the needs of local communities amid a global pandemic, these transformative nurse disruptors represent leadership personified.

Johnson & Johnson is proud, during this National Nurses Month, to celebrate these nurses and the thousands of other nurses who are transforming healthcare every day.

Follow us @JNJNursing on Facebook and Twitter to meet more nurse innovators who are pioneering transformative solutions every day and join the conversation at #NurseDisruptors!

The images, video and content of this article is credited and shared from the Johnson&Johnson Nursing website.

The artwork featured at the top of the article, titled “The Power of Nursing Through Learning,” is by Forrest Fortier, an artist and retired nurse from South Carolina. Forrest was inspired by her former colleagues to create a series of paintings that captured the strength and resilience of nurses everywhere, particularly during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about Forrest and her artwork at https://forrestfortier.com/

Meet 10 Nurses Pioneering Innovative COVID-19 Solutions
From inventing a medical grade protective mask to forming an interdisciplinary prone team; developing a virtual rounding tool to creating color-coded signs to improve communication. Johnson & Johnson was excited to speak with ten U.S. nurses who have developed innovative solutions in response to COVID-19.

Please note that the solutions and ideas listed below reflect the experiences and opinions of the nurses themselves and are not necessarily endorsed by Johnson & Johnson and/or Sumner College.

 

Ellen Smithline, PhD(c), MS, RN, CEN
Alternative Care Tents of Springfield, MA – Nurse Manager
Clinical Instructor, University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing
Springfield, Massachusetts

In less than two weeks, a team of nurses, engineers, other healthcare professionals and researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst designed a low-cost protective face shield that can be mass produced to provide protection to frontline health workers. Together with nurse inventor Rachel Walker, PhD, RN, Ellen played a valuable role by providing her nurse insights into the final design. Ellen, who has over 35 years of nursing experience that includes Ebola, SARS and emergency care, recently paused her PhD program to join the frontlines as an isolation tents nurse manager for communities hit with COVID-19.

J&J: Can you tell us more about the development of this face shield?

Ellen: From my experience treating patients during the Ebola and SARS crises, I know that face shields are incredibly important. Nurses can’t practice social distancing. We knew that to address our PPE crisis, we needed to combine our expertise and mass produce something quickly. By using a laser cutter, we created a shield that can be worn over one’s N95 mask and curbs the need for goggles. It is made from a single, flexible sheet of plastic film that folds and fastens around the forehead and doesn’t require any assembly. The simple, light weight design allows for large quantities to be produced in a short amount of time and can be packed flat which makes shipping, storage and distribution easier. So far, we have distributed over 81,000 face shields to the community. Now we’re working to distribute these masks to more areas that may not get the attention they deserve, such as long-term care facilities, healthcare teams helping those experiencing homelessness, migrant workers and other frontline personnel. As a nurse, that is a large part of the drive – delivering PPE so one can deliver care and essential services.

J&J: Why do you believe it is important for nurses to be a part of the development process of a healthcare solution?

Ellen: Innovation is part of who we are. Nurses naturally prioritize what needs to happen and what they can do to make a difference, and I was able to apply these insights to our development process. From my experience using a shield in the past, I knew fogging was likely to be a problem and encouraged the team to explore pre-coating the shield with anti-fog material. Because I know a lot of nurses like to wear their hair in ponytails, my husband Howard, who works as an emergency physician, and I recommended a longer strap similar to a zip tie that could adjust to various head sizes, hair types and safety googles. I also suggested that we add a place for the care provider’s name, because if we are fully dressed in protective masks, shields and gowns the patient may not know who they are talking to. It’s been an incredible experience to be a part of this collaborative effort from the beginning and empowering to have the members of the team value my input as a nurse.

Jordan Bope, MHI, BA, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager, James Medical Intensive Care Unit
Anne Pontillo, MHI, BSN, RN, CCRN, James Critical Care Staff Development Coordinator
Kori Fenner, MHI, BSN, RN, OCN, Assistant Nurse Manager, 5 James Infusion
Justin Kelly, MHI, BSN, RN, CCRN, RHIA, Staff Nurse, James Medical Intensive Care Unit
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center James Cancer Hospital
Columbus, Ohio

The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented family members from being able to visit their loved ones in many different units of hospitals. Originally thought of as a complementary service for families to virtually participate in a clinician’s rounds, recent graduates of The Ohio State University’s Master of Healthcare Innovation program, Jordan, Anne, Kori and Justin, worked quickly to transform and implement their idea for a virtual rounding tool to meet the immediate needs of this pandemic.

J&J: Why did you want to implement this virtual rounding tool in your hospital?

Team: The four of us had already been thinking through the development of a virtual rounding platform, but when COVID-19 hit and family members could no longer visit their loved ones, our innovative idea became something we wanted to implement immediately. We were given the green light for a pilot for “Real Talk Real Time” in our James Medical Intensive Care Unit (James MICU) in early April and immediately began incorporating feedback and improving this service for our patients and their loved ones. We believe our virtual rounding tool has been able to provide comfort to family members by allowing them to be face-to-face with their loved one’s nurses or doctors. Unlike other video chat offerings, using the Webex platform allowed us to offer something that is secure and able to be accessed on multiple devices by various age groups. We’re also looking to see what physical benefits it could potentially have for patients as well, such as decreasing their anxiety levels and length of stay. And since our pilot has been so successful, we believe it will soon be implemented in units here treating COVID-19 patients themselves and providing comfort to their families.

J&J: Do you have any advice for nurses who are facing roadblocks in their innovation journey?

Team: Overcoming our roadblocks has been very motivating. There are many times in the innovation process where you may have to pivot and reset, times where you may need to be persistent and times when you may need to compromise. In our case, we originally had the green light to use a specific digital platform for our tool but then our IT Security team let us know we couldn’t use that platform. We got a great piece of advice from a member of our faculty, who reminded us to fall in love with the problem and not the solution. It reminded us it’s not about the specific application – it’s about removing barriers to communication. It helped us to take a step back, continue our innovation, and adjust to a new digital platform. And because we persevered, many leaders in our health system expressed that they are eager to implement this in more areas in our hospital.

Lindsey Roddy, BSN, RN
Founder, CEO, RoddyMedical, LLC
PhD student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In response to the nationwide shortage of PPE, nurse innovator Lindsey, together with her husband John, an ICU doctor, and her team at RoddyMedical, LLC, developed a viable prototype for the patent-pending Together Mask™ – because ‘Together We Have Hope™’. With a coalition of more than 30 nurses, doctors, engineers, businesses and scientists, the group was able to fast-track the normal 6‐12 months of medical device design and production into just 4 weeks.

J&J: What was the development process like from ideation to implementation?

Lindsey: One evening in March, John and I spoke with one of our neighbors, a nurse on the COVID unit, who shared stories of how in some cases clinicians were reusing their N95 masks for days. We immediately felt compelled to help and that night began sewing masks. Soon, we knew something more was needed. The next day I reached out to my business partner, a product design engineer, and together we quickly brought together a team of nurses, doctors, engineers and businesses to create a design for a mask with a medical-grade filter that would fit comfortably and provide the needed protection for frontline health workers. In just 48 hours we had a viable prototype which now has evolved into a product we are proud of. We have conducted a variety of safety tests and design tweaks to make sure the masks were comfortable, easily assembled and can fit a variety of facial structures. Our final design has two models and features skin biocompatible materials for extended wear skin contact. The mask body and filter are angled to allow use with face shields and has adjustable head straps for a snug fit. Because the filter in our design is already approved by the FDA, we’re hopeful this will fast-track scaling up for manufacturing and distribution. We have made over 150 masks that we have already distributed to local hospitals, and we’re excited about the possibility to bring this to more health systems soon.

J&J: Why do you believe it’s important for nurses to lead in healthcare innovation?

Lindsey: Nurses often serve as the critical voices of the patients. They are able to add insights and expertise that can be valuable to innovation. In the case of the Together Mask™, nurses were asked to help us troubleshoot on the design and improve its comfort level. We held fitting sessions and received input on procedures for the process of taking off the mask to help limit the risk of cross-contamination. Because nurses are closest to patients at the bedside, they understand the value of having the mask be clear plastic so patients can see your words and smile. I would tell nurses never to underestimate the contributions that you can have in multiple areas of healthcare.

Jessica Latham, RN
Critical Care Nurse Educator, Ascension St. Vincent’s East
Birmingham, Alabama

After their first code blue incident on her COVID-19 ICU, Jessica knew that her team’s usual method of communication would not be as efficient with nurses balancing running the code inside the room and everything else happening outside the patient’s room. Leveraging her team’s insights, the glass doors on patient rooms and a lamination machine, Jessica created “Code Cards” to help get important messages to the nurses within the room quickly and effectively.

J&J: What was your experience implementing your idea for the “Code Cards”?

Jessica: Part of my job as an ICU educator is finding areas where we can improve our nurses’ knowledge base and processes. As COVID-19 started to create more stressful conditions in our unit, I realized we needed a way to help keep the code team informed and those outside the room unexposed. Our ICU doors are glass, so I made laminated “Code Cards” with our most commonly coded medications and procedures. We hold up these communication cards to the glass to get important messages to the nurses and keep staff safe during code blues. About an hour after I had the idea for these cards, I had them laminated and ready for use in our ICU areas. I could not have made it happen without the collaborative efforts of our ICU nurses and managers. These cards are now maintained on our ICU code carts and the process for utilizing them has become much smoother and safer for those both inside and outside the room. I can definitely see these remaining useful for future patients and even beyond this pandemic.

J&J: Do you have any encouraging words for nurses on the frontlines?

Jessica: I would tell other nurses and health workers to lean on their teams. We are all in this together, and interdisciplinary collaboration is imperative during these challenging times. They have called 2020 the “Year of the Nurse,” and I say we have definitely proven this true. These are unprecedented times and we, as nurses, can utilize our critical thinking skills and creativity to improve patient outcomes and our working environments with our innovative ideas emerging from this new and demanding disease.

Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs & Leaders (SONSIEL)
Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, FIEL, President, SONSIEL
Julia Cooney, RN, MBA, Board Member & Former Senior Partner Healthcare Life Science Consulting, Deloitte
Marion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH, Board Member & Director of Innovation, Penn Nursing
Hiyam Nadel, RN, MBA, CCG, Board Member & Director of the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Ann Corcoran, RN, BSN, Board Member & President of AMC Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
Faith Ann Lawlor, RN, Operations Team Manager, SONSIEL
Nationwide

To meet the urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE) inventory across the country, SONSIEL, a global organization of nurse leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs, mobilized to create the Strengthen Healthcare Ability to Respond to Emergencies (SHARE) program to collect, purchase and distribute vital protective equipment to frontline health workers. SONSIEL board members, Rebecca, Julia, Marion, Ann, Faith and Hiyam rallied their communities and local businesses to move over 100,000 pieces of donated PPE – efforts that were recently featured on ABC News Nightline.

J&J: Can you tell us more about the origins of the SHARE program and what is has accomplished so far?

SONSIEL: Many nurses voiced that their health systems were facing a dire shortage of PPE and we know how important it is for our frontline health workers to be protected. As the need only grew, SONSIEL looked to the next stage of purchasing PPE. We established a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds and, thinking outside the box and leveraging our network, partnered with the GLO Good Foundation, a dentistry organization, to secure sourcing of critically needed respirator masks from China. We leveraged our expertise, innovative thinking and network to create a rapid response with our SHARE program, which called on vital industry, corporate and individual partners to donate product and funds so SHARE could deliver PPE to those on the frontlines. In just 30 days after the launch of the program in mid-March, we have moved over 100,000 pieces of donated PPE to hard-hit facilities across the U.S., including 23,300 respirator masks (N95 and KN95), 20,500 surgical masks, 6,400 Level-3 masks, 1,200 coats and gowns, 45,200 pairs of gloves, 19,000 pairs of shoes, tens of thousands of face shields, dozens of Hazmat suits, dozens of goggles and 240 hand-sewn masks.

It’s truly impressive what we have been able to accomplish together in our first thirty days and we know our impact will continue to grow in the coming weeks. Our SHARE program is a success story of innovation and entrepreneurship, in both a business and clinical context – nurses solving a complex business issue, a broken supply chain for PPE procurement, to address a vital clinical matter – frontline health worker protection. In addition to being able to deliver much-needed resources to the frontlines, we’ve also been able to showcase the vital roles nurses can play in overall healthcare innovation, be it at the bedside or in the larger business ecosystem.

Hunter Jefferis, BSN, RN, CCRN, Assistant Nurse Manager (MICU)
Laureen Jones, MSN, RN, PCCN, APRN-CNS, Clinical Nurse Specialist (MICU)
Levi Wynn, BSN, RN, Assistant Nurse Manager (MICU)
John Byerly, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, Assistant Nurse Manager (SICU)
Anthony Adams, BSN, RN, CCRN, Assistant Nurse Manager (NCCU)
Department of Critical Care, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Columbus, Ohio

As health systems across the country navigated delivering patient care amid COVID-19 while their inventories of PPE continued to dwindle, a driven nurse team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was committed to implementing an innovative way to preserve PPE- utilizing externalized IV pumps. After creating an evidence-based plan and conducting a two-week pilot, through their data collection they estimate they have saved over 4,500 full sets of PPE as well as IV extension tubing.

J&J: Why did you want to bring this to your hospital?

Team: In critical care, the administration of medications may occur multiple times an hour. Not only does this increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure for nurses, but it also requires them to use a large quantity of PPE. We saw other hospitals experimenting with moving IV pumps outside patient rooms as a way to reduce the amount of times nurses were required to enter the room and knew this could be a transformative solution to our potential PPE shortage. We knew that if implemented correctly, it could also improve efficiency for nursing staff and the organization when we would have to adapt to a reduced supply of our primary IV sets due to the pandemic.

J&J: Do you have any advice for nurses who are trying to implement their innovative ideas in their health systems?

Team: At first, some hospital leaders were reluctant to test this for concerns of how it could affect patient care and increase waste of medications. Because our team was able to offer solid data that showcased the value this initiative could have in our units, we were approved for a two-week pilot to begin implementation. We collaborated with multiple different nursing leaders across critical care, as well as pharmacy, epidemiology and supply chain. We wanted to ensure we could maintain safety for the patients first and foremost, so we worked together to think through things like mitigating infection risk and maintaining our barcode medication scanning. In order to show to our hospital leadership that this could be implemented effectively and safely, we performed several tests and had to identify a standard operating procedure and obtain additional technology components to ensure functionality outside of the room. Because of our hard work and perseverance, our pilot has been successful and the organization is now looking to expand this initiative to other units treating COVID-19 patients.

Colleen Snydeman, RN, PhD, NE-BC
Executive Director of the Nursing & Patient Care Services Office of Quality, Safety & Practice
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

As COVID-19 continued to spread to major cities in the U.S., Colleen knew it would only be a matter of days before her staff had to be prepared for the number of critically ill patients they would care for. By bringing together nurse leaders, clinical nurse specialists, professional development staff, and respiratory, physical and occupational therapists, Colleen and her team were able to rapidly create a designated interdisciplinary proning team and trained over 80 staff in three days on how to prone patients in respiratory distress.

J&J: What was your experience implementing the prone team training in your hospital?

Colleen: We’re seeing many COVID-19 patients who are critically ill and experiencing respiratory distress. Evidence has shown that turning patients on their stomachs in the prone position might be able to help improve their oxygenation. Turning a patient is complicated, but our nurses have gotten very efficient at this due in large part to this training. When the numbers of critically ill COVID-19 patients began to increase, we knew the existing model we had prepared would not be enough to support the needed demand. Our general care units converting to critical care units and creating this dedicated proning team for all our hospital shifts would be an important support. We began coordinating efforts for the prone training on April 4th and were able to quickly begin the training with videos, reading materials and simulations on April 8th. The nurses were on the units applying these skills the very next day, and to date they have completed over 260 turning events without any complications to a patients’ central lines or airways.

J&J: What has the response been to the prone team on the units?

Colleen: The first day the nurses arrived on the units they were greeted with cheers. They continue to be sought after and are incredibly appreciated. A critical care physician recently told me he needed to prone a patient and couldn’t believe how quickly the team assembled, changed PPE and turned the patients in a timely, safe and efficient way. He thinks our prone team is one of the best things we’ve done for our patients and staff. Our nurses and other frontline health workers are excited to learn from each other, and I think there will be a push to expand our training to other units. The nurses, many of whom have volunteered for this team, have an incredible sense of pride and comradery and feel every day that the ICU staff appreciates them. Personally, when I go out to our units and I see the level of professionalism and care that our nurses are providing to patients, I am just so incredibly proud. Our nurses are saving lives every day, and it’s so ironic that in the Year of the Nurse, nurses are helping to save the world.

Breanna Lathrop, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC
Chief Operating Officer and Family Nurse Practitioner, Good Samaritan Health Center
Atlanta, Georgia

In these unprecedented times there is an incredible need to share accurate and timely information to the public. Together with Joseph Agoada, CEO of Sostento Inc. and fellow participant in the Robert Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders program, Breanna co-founded HelplineSOS in February 2020 as part of their Coronavirus Support Network. By recruiting nurses to volunteer with their phone helpline, they have been able to alleviate some of the stress on hospitals by answering patient questions, referring people for COVID-19 testing and linking patients to in-clinic or telehealth services.

J&J: What challenges were you and your team facing that led you to set up HelplineSOS?

Breanna: HelplineSOS provides charitable clinics with a technology-based solution to triage incoming calls and allows us to more effectively provide our communities with the support they need during this crisis. For many vulnerable populations, including the elderly, the homeless, or those in rural America, access to a doctor is not that easy. We realized clinics were sure to be overburdened and needed tools to meet the new demands of COVID-19. We wanted to position ourselves as a strong community resource for anyone with limited access to care. HelplineSOS has made this possible with our staff team and 20 volunteers working from home, many of whom are nurses. What also makes our solution unique is how it has been designed. HelplineSOS leverages the existing phone number of the clinic so it can help alleviate some of stress on these clinics without disrupting the relationships they have with members of the community.

J&J: How are you continuing to innovate HelplineSOS as the pandemic evolves?

Breanna: A team of designers and technologists on the Sostento team are continuously improving the system and developing it for new uses with clinics. Right now, HelplineSOS is serving non-emergency COVID-19 patients, however we have already started to build additional features for the tool to serve clinics beyond this initial emergency response. We believe HelplineSOS can be part of comprehensive solution for helping clinics stay open and meet increasing demand. We are working hard to make it no-cost for clinics, and since charitable clinics are so busy, we have also made it possible to be implemented in just a few hours. The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and the stress on the healthcare system has been overwhelming but working on this project has been an incredible collaboration with innovators, creators and healthcare leaders and a source of hope and energy.

Brittany Merkle, MFA, RN
Lead Innovation Strategist, University Hospital (UH) Ventures
Cleveland, Ohio

From collaborating on a touchless check-in procedure to triaging an ideas hotline for her health system that has garnered over 250 innovative ideas, nurse innovator Brittany and her team at University Hospital Ventures are working fast and smart to develop solutions to support communities in Northeastern Ohio. Brittany has played a vital role by leveraging her clinical background and design expertise to support a DIY fabric mask initiative that has collected more than 104,000 masks in less than a month – exceeding their goal of 100,000.

J&J: Can you tell us more about your DIY mask initiative and your role in bringing it to life?

Brittany: When COVID-19 hit our community, my team and I turned our efforts into finding ways to preserve and create new PPE. There are over 7,000 nurses in our UH health system, and we wanted to make sure we were protecting our caregivers and providing them and our community with a sense of comfort. Over the past few weeks, I’ve supported on the overall strategy for the initiative, provided a human-centered design perspective to the step-by-step mask production guidelines and continued to adapt and evolve our process based on changing policies and clinical input. My team and I talked through several prototypes, testing potential designs and language with nurses. It has been a large collaborative effort. This initiative has really spotlighted the power of community, and it’s been incredibly empowering for our frontline staff.

J&J: Do you have any words of encouragement for nurses on the frontlines?

Brittany: When the World Health Organization proclaimed 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Nurse Midwife, I wouldn’t say this is how we necessarily expected to seize the opportunity, but I believe nurses really have. If there is any silver lining, COVID-19 has proven that nurses exemplify frontline innovation in many different ways. This crisis is amplifying the nursing profession’s voice in innovation and policy change and creating the changes our healthcare system so desperately needs. To nurses, continue to be you through this process. I think it is going to take time to find a new normal. Grieve how you grieve, normalize your feelings of doubt or despair and find at least three minutes per day to meditate. And as always, know there is another nurse just a call, email or LinkedIn message away.

Amanda Stefancyk Oberlies, PhD, MBA, RN, CENP
Chief Executive Officer, Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL) – MA, RI, NH, CT, VT
Patricia Samra, RN, MS
President, Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL) – MA, RI, NH, CT, VT
Senior Director, Workforce Planning, Baystate Health
New England Area

The Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL) is a not-for-profit personal membership organization committed to the advancement of a culture of health, the delivery of high quality patient care, professional nursing and influencing the development of health policy in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont. As a way to support their members during the pandemic, Amanda Stefanick Oberlies, ONL CEO, and Patricia Samra, ONL Board President, implemented weekly virtual meetings to offer support to nurse leaders. These meetings have shared clinical best practices, strategies to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), ideas to support the well-being of nurses and actions to address the rapidly changing local, state and federal recommendations.

J&J: What was the inspiration behind implementing this meeting series?

Amanda: One of the biggest challenges in working and leading through this global pandemic has been the frequency with which new information and recommendations are generated from local, state and national sources. ONL members had no prior experience leading their organizations through a public health crisis of this magnitude, so we knew we had to quickly create a venue for our members to stay connected and share key insights and other critical information during this tumultuous time. In the role of convener, ONL began with calls with regional chief nursing officers, and realizing the success and value of these calls, quickly created a second call for nurse managers and directors. Attendance for each call has ranged from 45-100 leaders. Topics discussed during the calls have evolved as we progress through the pandemic’s pre-surge, surge and post-surge phases. Early topics included PPE availability and conservation strategies, visitor policies and testing practices for patients and staff and have progressed to topics such as reintroducing elective surgeries and outpatient procedures, caring and supporting clinical staff, how to celebrate Nurses Week and more.

J&J: What has the response been from nurse leaders across the country?

Patricia: As soon as we sent out the invite for the first call for March 12th, our members across New England and colleagues across the country started to send us resources ranging from staffing models, trainings plans, descriptions for new roles, ideas for recognition of the amazing work of our frontline staff, as well as amended HR policies and guidelines for clinical operations. An example of this was when one of our nurse leaders shared that they were asked to create an algorithm for ethical decisions at their hospital and within a few moments another leader on the call was able to share a draft they had already prepared – saving the first leader hours of work. The atmosphere has been one of true collaboration, knowing we will get through this together. We recognize that being a nurse executive can sometimes be a very lonely job, and during times like these, exceptional leaders have had to make hard decisions, and our group has been able to help them feel like they aren’t in this alone. Like many small, not-for-profit organizations, ONL has a lot of work ahead of us as we address the ripple effects of this pandemic. It’s been an honor and privilege to have these relationships to draw upon when the going gets tough.

Want to meet more nurse innovators who are pioneering incredible solutions in response to COVID-19? Follow us @JNJNursing on Facebook and Twitter for more inspiration and join the conversation at #NursesChangeLives!

The content and images featured in this article are shared and credited to Johnson&Johnson.

Please note that the solutions and ideas listed above reflect the experiences and opinions of the nurses themselves and are not necessarily endorsed by Johnson & Johnson.

 

Nursing Scholarships
There are many kinds of financial assistance available to help you on your path to a nursing career.
Johnson&Johnson Nursing shares a number of different scholarship opportunities for nursing students. Visit Nursing Scholarship Ideas Johnson&Johnson
Why Be A Nurse

Big decisions, exciting locations, new challenges—they’re all in a day’s work for today’s nurse. Find out why this career can be a such a fulfilling choice.

Dynamic profession

Nurses are independent. They’re leaders. They drive change and play a bigger role in the healthcare system than you may ever have imagined.

Career growth

Nurses never need to stop learning and growing, as healthcare is ever changing. There’s always an opportunity to study further and elevate your career.

  • Taking continuing education classes or pursuing an additional degree are just two of the ways that you can keep building on your knowledge and skills.
  • With more than 90 nursing specialties, you’ll have choices, challenges, and so many opportunities to take on bigger responsibilities and potentially a salary to match.

Flexible schedule

Nursing doesn’t have to mean a 12-hour shift. Many roles let you work 9 to 5 or be your own boss and set your own hours.

In their own words

Nursing_Nurse_profile_3x_Thomas_Pallaria.jpg
“With my expanded roles outside of the operating room, I cap my clinical day to 8-10 hours.”
Thomas – Nurse Anesthetist
Nursing_Nurse_profile_3x_Jamie_hellman.jpg
“I work 2–3 days a week in our women’s health clinic, seeing primarily pregnant women. Those days are roughly 8-hour days and I’ll see anywhere from 20–45 patients.”
Jamie – Certified Nurse Midwife

Diverse opportunities

Hospitals and medical offices? Of course. But also airplanes, schools, television studios, legal courts, racetracks, resorts, corporations, and more. The places you can work as a nurse are almost unlimited.

Featured specialties

Content shared from Johnson&Johnson Nursing.
National Nurses Week 2021: 40 Discounts, Deals and Freebies for Nurse Appreciation Week

National Nurses Week 2021 kicks off on Thursday, May 6, which also happens to be National Nurses Day! Nursing is an incredibly stressful career, which is why it’s so important to thank those nurses in our community for their time and sacrifices. And during these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to show our appreciation for the nurses and healthcare workers who are on the frontline of the global COVID-19 pandemic taking care of others.

For years, companies have been offering special Nurses Week freebies, discounts and deals to celebrate the hard work and dedication of nurses and other healthcare workers. And 2021 is no different. We searched the internet for some of the best deals and giveaways being offered for nursing professionals this year and came up with this list of 40 discounts and freebies in honor of National Nurses Week 2021 and National Nurses Day!

When is Nurses Week 2021?

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Within the week, there are also days designated to certain nurses, like National Student Nurses Day on May 8, National International Nurses Day on May 12, and National School Nurses Day, which is celebrated the Wednesday of Nurses Week. (This year, that falls on May 12.)

40 Nurse Appreciation Week Discounts For 2021

Free Books: From books about microbiology and EKGs to a biography about Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, Amazon has free books about nursing available for Kindle owners.

Dunkin’: Healthcare workers who show their ID at Dunkin’ coffee shops on May 6 will be treated to a free medium hot or iced coffee at participating locations—no purchase necessary and while supplies last.

Chipotle: The Mexican restaurant chain is offering free burritos to healthcare workers (while supplies last) through May 31. You can apply for a free burrito on their website.

Brooklyn Bedding: Get a good night’s sleep on new pillows, sheets, or a mattress, thanks to a healthcare provider’s discount offered by Brooklyn Bedding. Apply on their website for a 25% off discount code, and enjoy free shipping, too.

Outback Steakhouse: The restaurant offers a 10% Heroes Discount every day for healthcare workers, as well active and former military members, police, firefighters, and first responders. Just show a valid medical, state, or federal service ID.

Free Crocks: The company known for the comfy slip-on shoes gives away 10,000 pairs of free shoes to nurses each day. The virtual queue is set up daily at noon ET on their website, so happy clicking!

Related: Funny Nurse Memes

Purple Mattress: Nurses and other healthcare professionals can apply for a 10% off coupon through the company’s website.

Verizon: Both new and existing customers can sign up for the company’s “Those Who Serve” pricing plans for Verizon Wireless mobile and Fios home internet. Get more information here.

BikeBerry: Nurses are among the pandemic first responders being offered 10% off from the bike company, now through December 31.

Dave & Busters: Let loose at the arcade-themed restaurant, which is offering a free $10 game card for all healthcare workers, first responders, and military personnel.

Hooters: Enjoy 20% off your bill at the popular burger and wing joint.

IHOP: Show your healthcare ID at a participating IHOP restaurant and receive a 25% discount on your meal.

Mrs. Fields: The famous cookie company has a limited-edition line of cookie tins filled with sweet treats, called the Heroes Collection, that you can send to your favorite nurse. At press time, there were no discounts offered, but the treats have been known to be as much as 40% off in the past, so keep checking the site.

Cinnabon: While there is no national Cinnabon deal in honor of Nurses Week 2021, local bakeries will offer their own promotion during the week of May 6-12.

Discounted Hotels: Nurses who verify their identity as medical professionals can enjoy up to 35% off a hotel stay through the Caesars Rewards program. And healthcare workers who are members of the Hilton Honors Program can receive up to 25% off their reservations.

Related: Nurse Quotes

Asics: Get yourself a discount code for 40% off all full-priced items at Asics.com when you verify your status as a nursing professional.

Nike: Complete the verification form and you’ll receive a promo code for 10% off most items that you can use during checkout at Nike.com.

All Seasons Uniforms: The medical apparel company has a selection of scrubs, coveralls, and labcoats set aside as part of its Nurses Week 2021 Deals.

Farfetch: Nurses are among the essential workers offered a 10% discount by the luxury fashion retailer. Just verify your status on the website to receive your code.

Clarks: Verify your eligibility and receive a first responder discount that you can use at checkout at Clarks.com.

Dagne Dover: Treat yourself to a new tote at 20% off by filling out the verification form and your discount will automatically be applied at checkout.

Free Gift Cards: Show your fellow nurses how you take care of yourself. Submit a photo under the “Self-Care Isn’t Selfish” contest graphic on either Instagram or Facebook page by May 12. One entry from Facebook and one entry from Instagram with the most comments and likes will win a $500 gift card.

Discount Eyewear: During the week of May 6-12, use NERDYNURSE40 to save 40% off from Discount Glasses, and NERDYNURSE20 to receive 20% off from Discount Contact Lenses.

Nurses’ Wish Box: Enter Bayada Home Health Care’s NursesWeek.com giveaway and you can win one of five nurse-curated themed kits. Fifty winners will be randomly selected.

Badge Blooms: Through May 12, use code BLOOMSNURSEWEEK21 to save 50% off your purchase on a designer ID badge reel from the Etsy shop.

GO-Clip: This game-changing mask accessory pulls the mask straps off the ears thanks to these adjustable clips that attach to any hat or other headwear. Use promo code GONURSES for a buy one, get one free discount on any Go-Clip of your choosing through May 12.

Macayo’s: The Mexican restaurant chain has a special menu set for Nurse Appreciation Week, valid May 6 through May 12 with a valid ID card.

Lululemon: The athleisurewear company offers a 25% discount (in-store only) when your valid ID is presented.

Free Insomnia Cookies: Bring your ID to an Insomnia bakery to grab a free cookie, no purchase required. And if you spend $5 in the store, you’ll get a free six-pack of cookies.

Related: How To Help Healthcare Workers During The Pandemic

Discounted Rental Cars: Nurses can receive a 25% discount on their rental car purchase from BudgetEnterprise, and National, after verifying their ID.

Free Movies: EVO Entertainment Theaters in Texas will offer complimentary movies for nurses the week of May 6-12.

Free Mystery Boxes: NurseDeals.com is again giving away 10 mystery boxes, boasting that this year’s collection has almost twice as many personalized items, making it the best mystery box yet! Winners will be chosen at random.

Red Lobster: Through May 17, nurses and other healthcare providers will get 10% off their order (dine-in or to-go) by showing a valid employee ID or badge at the restaurant.

Sketchers: Essential workers can get 30% off and free shipping through May 31 at Sketchers.com.

Under Armor: Through May 9, nurses and other first responders can enjoy 40% off purchases in stores and online. After that date, healthcare professionals (and military) can verify your identity at UnderArmor.com to receive a 10% discount.

Discounted Gas: BP gas stations are offering healthcare workers and other essential employees 15¢ off every gallon of gas for 60 days. Get the details here.

I Heart Mac & Cheese: The rapidly-growing restaurant chain has two special deals in honor of Nurse Appreciation Week. Nurses and nursing students who visit the restaurant’s locations across the country on May 6 will receive a free entrée. And during the entire month of May, nurses and nursing students will receive 20% off every order.

Shared from Parade Magazine’s Website – Discounts are reported according to the article. By sharing this information on our blog, Sumner College does not imply an endorsement of the offer or the business referenced and cannot be held liable.

National Nurses Week History

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12) each year.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896. Each of ANA’s state and territorial nurses associations promotes the nursing profession at the state and regional levels. Each conducts celebrations on these dates to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

The ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state and district nurses associations, other specialty nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions.

A Brief History of National Nurses Week

1953 Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.

1954 National Nurse Week was observed from October 11 – 16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. Apparently, a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds.

1972 Again a resolution was presented by the House of Representatives for the President to proclaim “National Registered Nurse Day.” It did not occur.

1974 In January of that year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed that May 12 would be “International Nurse Day.” (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.) Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated “International Nurse Day.”

1974 In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

1978 New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6 as “Nurses Day.” Edward Scanlan, of Red Bank, N.J., took up the cause to perpetuate the recognition of nurses in his state. Mr. Scanlan had this date listed in Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events. He promoted the celebration on his own.

1981 ANA, along with various nursing organizations, rallied to support a resolution initiated by nurses in New Mexico, through their Congressman, Manuel Lujan, to have May 6, 1982, established as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

1990 The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 – 12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.

1996 The ANA initiated “National RN Recognition Day” on May 6, 1996, to honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year. The ANA encourages its state and territorial nurses associations and other organizations to acknowledge May 6, 1996 as “National RN Recognition Day.”

1997 The ANA Board of Directors, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.

Story shared from ANA Enterprises
National Nurses Week brings free Dunkin’ coffee, Chipotle burritos to the nation’s most-trusted profession

Article shared from USA Today.

Teachers aren’t the only professionals being shown some appreciation this week.

Members of the nation’s most-trusted profession – nurses – are, too.

Select restaurants across the nation are showing nurses a little love by offering freebies and discounts for National Nurses Week, which officially kicks off Thursday with National Nurses Day.

The week goes through May 12, which was the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The dates of the special offers and participation varies by location.

Dunkin’, which has more than 9,000 U.S. locations, has one of the biggest deals for Nurses Day. On Thursday, health care workers who show their ID get a free medium hot or iced coffee at participating locations.

Read More

$5,000 COVID Scholarship – Now Offering for the RN to BSN Program

Sumner College is again offering a $5,000 COVID Scholarship for RNs who want to pursue a BSN. The Sumner College RN to BSN program is offered 100% online and can be completed in only 13 months. This scholarship is for the July 12th class and the application is due by June 30th. The $5,000 scholarship reduces the program tuition from $12,960 to $7,960 for total tuition. Additional program fees include a technology fee.

Contact BSN@sumnercollege.edu for more information. An essay submission is required to qualify for the scholarship.  Call today!  1-877-682-5601

 

 

TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN HEALTHCARE IN 2021: THE RISE OF AI

COVID-19 has become an unprecedented disruption to all facets of the healthcare industry in a very short amount of time. Although the healthcare technology industry has been slow growing in the past, innovation is needed to deal with the pandemic. AI in healthcare, as well as other important technologies, are critical to resolving the crisis and for generating future growth.

To better understand where the healthcare technology industry is going, studying key tech trends is paramount. Although proven systems are often preferred for their reliability, businesses are always looking for new ways to improve their performance, productivity, and efficiency.

Now, let’s talk about healthcare technology trends in 2021.

Trend #1: Telemedicine

COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the use of telehealth resources. In April of 2020, 43.5% of Medicare primary care visits utilized telehealth methods rather than in-person visits. One of the major benefits of telehealth over in-person alternatives is that it reduces contact between patients, healthcare workers, and other patients. Wearable devices enable healthcare workers to have real-time information on patient data while they remain at home.

More importantly, telehealth’s growth appears likely to continue even after the pandemic is over. 71% of patients in the United States considered telemedicine at the beginning of the pandemic, and 50% had already utilized virtual appointments. With telehealth already rising in popularity in the previous year, the pandemic was a major boost to the industry’s development. This boom in telehealth seems likely to break $185.6 billion by 2026.

The most important aspect of telehealth’s success is patient adoption. Since most patients are comfortable with telehealth solutions, it’s clear that the industry has a strong future.

The most robust telehealth services are provided through telemedicine apps. One of the most important technologies behind telemedicine apps is WebRTC, an open-source API-based system to connect web browsers with mobile applications. One of the most important aspects of WebRTC that makes it essential for telemedicine apps is its versatility. This can enable useful features like text and video chat, screen sharing, and file transfer.

Electronic health records (EHR) are important to integrate into your telemedicine app. This allows patients and healthcare providers to see patient medical records in the app. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is useful for the app to relay communication to patients through digital speech. Google fit and Apple HealthKit integration also presents valuable opportunities for allowing the app to access existing health information available on a patient’s own smartphone. Cloud-based server solutions are also critical for all of the above processes to function.

When building a telemedicine app, it’s important to consider what features it should have. Some of the most important features are security, location services, appointment management, video/audio communication, secure messaging, healthcare provider reviews, visit history, and wireless testing through wearable integration. From security to accessibility, these features are essential when considering the needs of a telemedicine app.

Trend #2: Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19

Artificial intelligence plays a critical role in the fight against COVID-19, including areas like pandemic detection, vaccine development, thermal screening, facial recognition with masks, and analyzing CT scans.

PANDEMIC DETECTION

BlueDot, an application developed by a company from Toronto, Canada, was a major pioneer in early warning systems for identifying pandemics such as COVID-19. BlueDot was the first to publish a paper that predicted COVID-19’s spread worldwide.
Bluedot’s system scans over 100,000 media sources worldwide in over 65 different languages daily to ascertain dangerous outbreaks in nearly real time. To predict the risk of a disease becoming a pandemic, the following threat vectors are analyzed:

According to the Brookings Institution, when developing new vaccines, the goal is to include strongly immunogenic viral components that cause a response from the immune system. Machine learning has enabled great strides in immunology. Artificial intelligence can help identify viral fragments that have the properties needed to accomplish these goals.

Machine learning enables advancements that humans would not be able to achieve otherwise. The precision, efficiency, and speed of these developments cannot be achieved with human work alone. With machine assistance, immunologists have identified over one million fragments of proteins on a cell’s surface that are discoverable by T-cells.

SYGFQPTNGVGYQPY, a fragment from COVID-19, could be a fragment with these desirable qualities. However, without machine learning assistance, humans alone won’t be able to tell for sure. Thanks to machine learning, COVID-19 vaccine development is continuing quickly.

THERMAL SCREENING

According to the FDA, non-contact infrared thermometers and other kinds of thermal screening systems use a variety of methods to determine the temperature of objects like humans. AI can quickly parse through many people at once to identify people with high temperatures. This can help to identify symptomatic individuals.

FACIAL RECOGNITION WITH MASKS

Deep learning systems in facial recognition technology have improved enough that they can identify individuals with masks with accuracy of up to 95%. Even though large numbers of people are wearing masks, facial recognition is not concerned with whether or not they are wearing masks.

CT SCAN ANALYSIS

Human error is a problem in CT scan analysis. Artificial intelligence can detect pneumonia caused by COVID-19 in chest CT scans via multinational training data for machine learning.

Trend #3: The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

Various devices and mobile apps have come to play a critical role in tracking and preventing chronic illnesses for many patients and their doctors. By combining IoT development with telemedicine and telehealth technologies, a new Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has emerged. This approach includes the use of a number of wearables, including ECG and EKG monitors. Many other common medical measurements can also be taken, such as skin temperature, glucose level, and blood pressure readings.

By 2025, the IoT industry will be worth $6.2 trillion. The healthcare industry has become so reliant on IoT technology in 2020 that 30% of that market share for IoT devices will come from healthcare.

With the arrival of new delivery methods, such as the first smart pill approved in 2017 by the FDA, practitioners will have many interesting options for providing care in a more effective manner.

How the first smart pill approved in 2017 by the FDA works

Providing consistent and effective communication with numerous medical IoT devices is one of the biggest challenges that the sector faces. Manufacturers still regularly utilize their own proprietary protocols for talking to devices. This can present problems, especially when trying to collect large amounts of data by servers.

Connectivity issues are also still common, as the collection of data by microcontrollers and smartphones can be disrupted by a number of factors in the environment. Buffering methods on local microcontrollers need to become more robust in order to maintain better connections. Potential security concerns also need to be addressed, as indicated by a report from the Ponemon Institute’s Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data that showed that 89% of healthcare operations had been the subjects of at least one data breach.

Trend #4: Privacy Issues

Privacy is an extremely important issue in health technology, especially with regards to HIPAA compliance in 2020. Although cloud computing can make storing and retrieving data more efficient, regulations to secure Protected Health Information (ePHI) are very strict and complying with them can be very difficult.

Remote communication with patients is especially important during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Some telehealth technologies are not fully compliant with HIPAA which can raise challenges for patient privacy. Although the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services are currently exercising discretion on how these rules are enforced, it is still important for these technologies to be as compliant as possible.

The slack in enforcement of HIPAA rules is only in good faith. Healthcare providers should ensure that they are still following the regulations as best as they can, only missing the bar where they have to. For example, there are some non-public facing technologies in use by some providers to communicate with patients such as FaceTime and Skype.

If a healthcare provider wants to use an existing system to exchange ePHI with patients through third party software, they will have to obtain a business associate exception with the vendor which can be tedious and difficult. There still is no guarantee that the third party program can fully protect patient data.

In addition, keeping information secure through remote doctor calls is difficult. ePHI data must be transmitted in structured formats, and these calls can make the process complicated. Without compliance with HIPAA, patient privacy cannot be guaranteed. Beyond HIPAA, the General Data Protection Regulation must be considered in order to secure personal data from European Union citizens.

The HIPAA regulation covers a great range of activities and it even covers some that are not mentioned in the act directly. Electronic signatures that are used in online forms quite often are a great example of that. They are not mentioned in the regulation but covered entities have to ensure that they are using HIPAA compliant e-signature services as these services will store data that is considered PHI for authorization and authentication purposes.

Erman Ergun, Healthcare Content Manager, JotForm

Trend #5: AR/VR/MR in Healthcare

Virtual and augmented reality are both important technologies with great potential to enhance the quality of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. From enhancing patient and provider visits to helping educate medical students in procedure simulations, this technology is turning science fiction into reality.

AR and VR technology shows promise for helping stroke victims overcome motor deficiencies. These patients must be put in a robust environment to help regain motor control. However, simulated environments provide more flexibility that physical therapy may not be able to offer. These controlled simulations can be used to gather data to help therapists tailor care plans for their patients.

Maplewood Senior Living in Connecticut has utilized VR headsets to work with individuals who have concerns ranging from dementia to cognitive impairments. They have access to activities and experiences that are otherwise unavailable in their current environments. This may allow patients to unlock memories and improve their emotional well-being.

Augmented reality can greatly assist healthcare providers in providing service. Since information can be provided in 3D space in a surgeon or doctor’s vision, they can have real-time access to information that can benefit their procedures. This can allow students to learn more about procedures through overlays, and doctors can quickly compare data to help them make diagnoses. Another aspect of AR technology that is useful for the healthcare market are advancements in robotic surgeries. The future of AR will be strongly influenced by its use in healthcare settings.

Augmented reality companies continually monitor the development of technology trying to integrate it with the business of their clients.

Trend #6: Blockchain

Blockchain is a trend that stands to vastly improve the healthcare industry in 2020 and coming years. Digital ledgers can enable healthcare providers to distribute transaction records to patients securely and will greatly improve data security. Blockchain’s peer-to-peer system allows large numbers of users to securely have access to a common ledger. Thanks to blockchain, there is no need for a basis of trust between two parties. As healthcare technology continues to improve, portability, security, and accessibility are all desired objectives that blockchain can help complete alongside other trends like IoMT and cloud computing.

One of the greatest benefits of blockchain in healthcare technology is interoperability. Through public-private key methods there is greater integrity in the use of healthcare information. An example of this would be that a specialist providing a consultation can be granted access to information quickly through a secure system that all parties are using. The flexibility of anonymity can be controlled so that patients can opt into providing data for research purposes. Ultimately, this would comply with HIPAA and GDPR regulations.

Integrity, security, accessibility, and portability of data are all features in high-demand during the COVID-19 public health crisis in 2020. Blockchain is a critical technology that can help provide these features to help healthcare providers communicate with COVID-19 patients efficiently and remotely.

Blockchain improves transparency and integrity through full visibility through the digital ledger. If there are concerns about counterfeiting or the supply chain, all transactions are logged through the blockchain system. Since this is so easily consolidated, this also saves costs that would have gone into tracking these transactions manually.

It remains to be seen how blockchain will be implemented industry wide. In 2017, IBM began a research initiative with the FDA to use Watson Health to test how a blockchain system could help handle clinical study information, patient records, and patient wearable data. On October 13th, 2020, IBM Watson Health introduced Digital Health Pass, a blockchain certification solution. This will allow companies to privately check the health status of their employees.

Trend #7: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare

This trend has great potential for improving healthcare technology in 2020 and 2021. Artificial intelligence with information processing and decision-making similar to humans open up many possibilities. This technology can improve precision, speed, and efficiency of diagnoses. Early treatment can be achieved through AI-driven analytics that can help healthcare providers find the right approach for a given patient. Through machine learning algorithms, drug development can be improved by advancing the search for chemical and biological interactions. This will help bring new pharmaceuticals to market quicker.

MIT and Harvard University researchers have utilized machine learning to track trends in mental health in correlation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their AI model analyzed thousands of online Reddit messages to find that topics of suicidality and loneliness had nearly doubled. Machine learning’s use in predicting mental health trends can be useful in understanding the big picture of mental wellbeing.

Project InnerEye at Microsoft is a radiotherapy AI tool. This allows for 3D contouring of a patient to be produced in a matter of minutes instead of hours. Microsoft recently published this software as open source on GitHub. Project Hanover is another Microsoft AI system meant to catalog biomedical research papers from PubMed. This would help produce cancer diagnoses and decide on which drugs should be used for each patient.

Another application of machine learning is chatbot technology. These would be used to give assistance to patients in self-diagnosis and for assisting doctors in diagnosing patients. Chatbots are not yet ready to provide diagnosis, but they can be used to assist in this process.

A project at UCLA has combined chatbot technologies with AI systems to create a Virtual Interventional Radiologist (VIR). It makes evidence-based responses to FAQs quickly available to physicians by implementing IBM Watson cognitive technologies and Natural Language Processing methods. This allows the questions to be read and answered in an intuitive manner, making the whole process simpler, faster and more useful for doctors.

AI’s potential to synergize with other healthcare technologies presents a great deal of possibilities. Smartphones, wearables, and growing IoMT infrastructures promise increases in available data sets for ML software to analyze.

Machine learning programs will not outperform their training sets. Excellent training sets are essential for the success of ML software. Data science team must be actively involved in the ML training process to maintain quality control. Deep learning can net great returns so long as this process is maintained.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science are essential trends depicting the future of healthcare. Thank you for reading, and please reach out to us if you have any questions!

Shared from Mobidev website

Hiring | Nurse Educator Associate Instructors

Sumner College is hiring for Nurse Educator Associate Instructors

Job Description

Title: Nurse Educator Associate Instructor

Supervisor: Department Chair

Benefits for Nurse Educator Associate Instructor:

Sumner College will invest in you by paying your tuition in full, to attend the RN to BSN online program offered at Sumner College after completing 90 days of employment. To be eligible, employees must be in good standing and commit to teach at the college for one year. This time frame can be while an employee is enrolled in the program, or after they complete the program.

Job Summary of Nurse Educator Associate Instructor:

The Nurse Educator will teach, guide students in their labs and clinicals, along with enhancing the design of the curriculum. This person will also be responsible for evaluating students and giving feedback to students on how they are progressing in the program. The Nurse Educator will be a motivated and dedicated teacher who will stay current on the latest nursing research and communicate this information to students.

Requirements of Nurse Educator Associate Instructor:

Job Type: Part-time – 3 positions available

Interested applicants, please submit your resume via email with the subject line of Nurse Educator Associate Instructor to Human Resource Manager Lisa Jameson

 

10 Nursing Podcasts to Help You Succeed in 2021

Everyone needs some words of encouragement from time to time. Life can be hard, and hearing stories and advice from someone in a similar position can often make a world of difference when things start to get tough.

Travel nursing is a unique profession and one that isn’t an exception to difficulties. On a daily basis, you face a dozen obstacles and challenges that the average person may never encounter in their whole life in a non-nursing profession. From the physical demands to the emotional strain, working as a nurse is not easy. Add on top of that the tedium of traveling once or twice a year, and you have yourself a recipe for some much-deserved self-care.

And podcasts are a great way to renew your sense of encouragement and gratitude for your nursing profession.

What many nurses don’t know is how many podcasts are out there specifically made for those in the medical field. If you’re looking for something new and relatable to listen to during your travels or daily commute, read on for the 10 best podcasts for nurses!

#1. Daily Nurse – NurseCasts

Number one on the list of the best nursing podcasts is a show called Nursecasts. Episodes of Nursecasts can be listened to on the website DailyNurse. The podcast is hosted by Joe Morita, the senior acquisitions editor of Spring Publishing. Each episode features interviews with real nurses and discusses the daily life of working as a healthcare professional and their nursing experience throughout their career.

NurseCasts usually focus on a particular subject each day, whether it be about mental health,  travel nursing, or the nursing experience of a graduate. For example, the very first episode discusses why so many college students are studying to enter the nursing field. In addition to these interesting discussions, NurseCasts also offers actionable advice to listeners, such as:

Listen to new episodes of NurseCasts daily for helpful information and unique stories about working as a registered nurse.

#2. Good Nurse Bad Nurse

Good Nurse Bad Nurse is a podcast for those who love interesting stories about the healthcare field.

Hosted by two registered nurses, Tina and Sam, every episode has each of them tell a story about working as a nurse. One story, told by the “good nurse” will be uplifting and inspiring. The other story, told by the “bad nurse,” will typically explore the darker side of the healthcare field—such as complications, mistakes, and dangers on the job. This podcast discusses hot-button issues in the medical field and features special guests and interviews with other people with a nursing career.

The next time you’re looking for a gripping but fun podcast, with just the right amount of light-heartedness, check out Good Nurse Bad Nurse.

#3. The Nurse Keith Show

For nurses who want a podcast that focuses mainly on career advice, check out The Nurse Keith Show. Nurse Keith is a registered nurse, board-certified nursing coach, and specialist in holistic healing.

The Nurse Keith show helps nurses make the right choices for their own success and encourages listeners to advance their careers and find their own path. In addition to career coaching, the podcast also explores current topics in the medical field and interviews other healthcare professionals.

This is a podcast with a charming balance of being entertaining and informational.

#4. Nursing Show

Nursing Show is one of the best medical podcasts on the scene. For the nurse who wants a clinical skills podcast, Nursing Show offers educational discussions about the healthcare field. Medication usage, helpful tips on daily procedures, and information on medical conditions and modern medicine are all featured topics on this podcast that are accompanied by a lot of insider knowledge.

In addition to educational topics, Nursing Show also offers:

You can listen to Nursing Show on Stitcher. The podcast no longer airs new episodes, but there are over 400 episodes currently available for listening. If you are a graduate nurse, this might be a great listen to gain some valuable information on topics that range far and wide.

#5. Nursing Uncensored

Nursing Uncensored is not for the faint of heart. The podcast is hosted by Adrienne Behning, a registered nurse, and entertainer who believes in combining healthcare and humor.

Nursing is a serious profession, but that doesn’t mean you can’t laugh about it sometimes. Nursing Uncensored is one of the best comedic podcasts for nurses. With interviews, relatable stories, and the occasional curse word, Nursing Uncensored is for healthcare professionals who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is.

#6. Real Talk School of Nursing

The Real Talk School of Nursing podcast is a bit different from the other podcasts on this list. That’s because, instead of focusing on life on the job, it focuses on life around the job. This podcast is for nurses who want to hear relatable discussions about balancing their work as a nurse practitioner and personal life.

Real Talk School of Nursing also interviews professionals in the medical field and discusses people’s personal experiences in this line of work.

New episodes air every couple of weeks, and you can listen to them on the Real Talk School of Nursing website.

#7. Straight A Nursing

Straight A Nursing is a podcast that will help nurses and nursing students do their best at work and get through nursing school. This podcast is essentially a mobile learning lesson each week, but with more entertainment.

Hosted by Nurse Mo, this podcast series delves into educational aspects of the nursing field and offers helpful refreshers and much-needed new information about healthcare work.

New episodes of Straight A Nursing air each week, and you can find them on all your favorite podcast services:

#8. Stories of Self Healing With Nurse Kristin

Nursing podcasts don’t always have to be about succeeding at work. Stories of Self Healing with Nurse Kristin is a podcast for nurses who want to turn their focus inward and work on their own personal triumphs. Kristin’s podcast series focuses on life outside of nursing care and how to balance a career in nursing and your physical and mental health.

Nurse Kristin specializes in nutrition and offers helpful advice on eating right, feeling your best, and switching to healthy and plant-based foods.

This podcast is a perfect balance of remaining in the nursing field while also taking listeners’ minds off work. Stories of Self Healing with Nurse Kristin will help nurses take care of themselves, so they have the energy and focus to bring their all when working as a nurse or travel nurse.

#9. Nurse Talk Media

It’s no secret that healthcare is heavily politicized. Nurse Talk Media is a politically centered nursing podcast that covers news, work, and experiences from real nurses. Some topics discussed on this show include:

Nurse Talk Media is a podcast for nurses with strong political beliefs who are looking for engaging discussions and up-to-date stories about the current state of healthcare.

#10. Your Next Shift: A Nursing Career Podcast

Make each workday better than the last with this helpful nursing podcast that’s full of career advice. Host Elizabeth Scala presents new ways to approach problems you face working in the healthcare field and encourages listeners to bring a proper mindset into their work.

A wonderful combination of practical advice and psychological elements, Your Next Shift is the perfect podcast for nurses looking to feel good about their career and continue to make strides toward the life they want.

With new guest speakers each episode, and a ton of thought-provoking topics, you’ll find yourself itching to listen to the next episode.

Fortunately, new episodes of Your Next Shift air each week on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher.

There’s Plenty to Choose From

Travel nursing jobs are continuing to be readily available. Each year, more and more nurses enter the field—ready to do everything they can to help people feel their best. While the work is hard, and you may not always feel your best, you have to remember that there’s always someone out there who will understand.

Listening to nursing podcasts will help you feel more connected, provide advice, and entertain you with relatable stories for hours on end. Some of these podcasts can even help answer typical nursing questions such as what are the top compression socks for nurses or the best scrub brands.

Now that you have this list, you can start listening and find the perfect nurse podcast for you, and make life as a travel nurse all that much more enjoyable.

Check out more of our articles on healthcare topics to help you get all the information you need to tackle your job as a nurse or travel nurse with comfort and confidence!

Something to Listen to While You Travel

Are you a nurse who’s always wanted to travel the country? Does listening to these podcasts on a ten-hour scenic drive to your next 3-month hospital stint sound intriguing?

At Host Healthcare we strive to help professionals in the healthcare industry find their dream jobs and offer support every step of the way. Whether you’re looking for a job during the COVID 19 pandemic, or you want to switch from a perm position to a travel position, we have your back. Find the perfect position for you with Allied Travel careers. Consider becoming a travel physician assistant, critical care nurse, primary care nurse, or other medical professional.

After looking through these nursing podcasts, you might want to check available travel CNA jobs that you might consider in the future.

Shared from Host Healthcare
10 Nursing Trends We Expect to See in 2021
  1. Online education programs will increase in popularity.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) appointed the Committee on the Future of Nursing to put together recommendations for an action-oriented response to some of the challenges being faced by nurses.

One of their key recommendations was to increase the percentage of workers holding a BSN degree from 50 to 80% by 2020. In 2018, New York became the first state to pass a law requiring nurses to earn a BSN within 10 years of becoming licensed. Many other states have plans to adopt similar legislation.

In light of these changes, and in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the motivation for nurses to pursue higher education is stronger than ever. Online nursing degree programs provide a way for nurses to obtain a degree while continuing to work full-time, opening the door to higher education without the need to sacrifice work-related responsibilities or family obligations.

  1. The shortage of primary care physicians will create an even greater demand for Family Nurse Practitioners.

Recent research from the Association of American Medical Colleges found that the United States could face a shortage of up to 55,200 primary care physicians by 2032, due in part to a growing, aging population.

Without enough primary care physicians to care for the population, the demand for Family Nurse Practitioners will be high, especially in those states where FNPs have full practice authority. In March 2020, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) reported that the number of Nurse Practitioners reached an all-time high of 290,000. We expect this number to continue to grow.

  1. A greater number of states will grant Nurse Practitioners full practice authority.

As a further response to the primary care physician shortage, more states should begin to grant Nurse Practitioners the authority to practice independently. Currently, 26 states and U.S. territories grant nurse practitioners full practice authority, while other states require collaborative agreement with a supervising physician or have restrictions on practice.

Given the pressing need for primary care providers and the fact that both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing recommend that states provide NPs full practice authority, there are increasing pressures on the remaining states to follow suit.

  1. We will see unprecedented job growth for nurses in 2021.

The numbers are clear: both in the U.S. and globally, there is a shortage of Registered Nurses that is expected to intensify as the Baby Boomer population ages, the need for care providers grows and health care workers continue to combat COVID-19.

The nursing shortage has only intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic as hospitals and other health care environments struggle under unprecedented patient loads.

Even pre-COVID, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had projected Registered Nursing to be one of the top occupations for job growth through 2028, expected to grow by 12% (much faster than average), and reported 371,500 new RN jobs will be added by the year 2028.

  1. Salaries for Registered Nurses will stay steady or increase.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 has had a terrible impact on hospital finances, nurses surveyed by the American Nurse Journal report that they have continued to receive salary increases. It comes as no surprise, then, that the U.S. News & World Report ranked RN as #13 (up from #19 in 2019) on its list of 100 Best Jobs of 2020, and ranked Nurse Practitioner as #5 (up from #7).

  1. Higher education degrees will become the norm.

Another 2021 nursing trend we expect to see is growth in the number of nurses pursuing higher education.

As mentioned above, the Institute of Medicine set a goal in 2010 of achieving an 80% BSN-holding nursing workforce by 2020. That same report also called to double the number of nurses with a doctoral degree by 2020.

Several indicators point to progress:

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of employed nurses with a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing increased by 8%.

The number of graduates from RN-to-BSN programs and doctoral programs rose every year from 2009 to 2018.

The number of employed nurses with a doctorate more than tripled from 2010 to 2018.

Several independent studies have shown that an increase in the number of RNs holding at least a BSN degree decreases the risk of patient mortality. With such strong evidence that more education leads to better patient outcomes and nursing degrees trending upward, expect higher education to become the norm for Registered Nurses moving into 2021 and beyond.

  1. Telehealth services are making it easier for patients to access care.

Telehealth visits in March 2020 increased by 154% year-over-year. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need for virtual health care. That’s why we predict telehealth and chatbot services will continue to be the norm in some aspects of the nurse’s role in 2021.

With telehealth technology, patients can manage certain aspects of their own health care by accessing an online portal to see their test results, schedule appointments and request prescription refills. Virtual appointments enable them to see their nurse or doctor via live video feed.

  1. Bilingual nurses will be more valued.

The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse. A 2015 report by the U.S. Census Bureau reported that at least 350 languages are spoken in American homes.

Next to English, Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the United States. An estimated 40 million U.S. residents, or 13% of the population, speak Spanish at home.

Bilingualism is becoming increasingly valued as a skill for nurses to have. Nurses who speak a second language, especially Spanish, may be more attractive to employers than monolingual nurses in 2021.

  1. More nurses will choose to specialize.

Nurses today are expected to specialize, and this is a trend that will only continue in 2021.

Nursing is a career where there is greater demand at higher levels of practice than the lower ones. Nurses who choose to specialize find that they are in higher demand and can often command higher salaries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Registered Nurses have a median salary of $73,300 and a projected job growth of 7% between 2019 and 2029. But Nurse Practitioners will enjoy even brighter prospects for employment and salary. According to BLS, they earn a median annual wage of $109,820 and their employment will grow by 52%.

From family health to psychiatry, there are many advanced specialties that nurses can choose to focus their career on in 2021.

10.The proportion of male nurses will rise.

Nursing remains a female-dominated profession, but slowly that is beginning to change. The American Association for Men in Nursing continues to advocate for greater numbers of men in nursing programs throughout the United States and the world.

Since 1960, there has been a clear trend toward increasing numbers of male nurses. The share of nurses who are male went up from 2.2% in 1960 to 12% in 2019. As stigma fades and more men realize the benefits of a career in nursing, we expect the proportion of male nurses to increase.

 

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