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Please Click here for the 2001 News Archives: July 2001, June 2001, Year 2000 Archives

29 May, 2001: Africa, Nurses leaving for greener pastures urged to stay home:"Batswana nurses who leave the country for greener pastures in Europe have been urged to stay home so fellow citizens could benefit from their skills. Opening a conference of Botswana and South African retired nurses at the Oasis Motel in Tlokweng at the weekend, Kgosi Machael Gaborone of Batlokwa, lamented the flight of African nurses and other professionals to developed countries. He said Africans should learn to serve their own people, noting that nurses who had retired were playing a critical role in Community Home-Based Care (CHBC) programme."

Tuesday, May 29, 2001: New York State, Pass act to help nursing shortage:"As pervasive as the problem is, no one legislative measure will fix all the ills associated with the country's dramatic nursing shortage. But it certainly would be one move in the right direction. Even political rivals agree. That's why U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly, R-Katonah, and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., made an unprecedented joint appearance recently to tout the Nurse Reinvestment Act. The legislation, which would provide federal funding for nurse training programs, ought to be approved by Congress. Why? Because the nursing shortage is already acute -- and it's expected to get a whole lot worse. In fact, health care experts project 400,000 positions nationwide will be vacant in 20 years. The reason for the shortage is simple: fewer people are choosing nursing as a career at a time when about 78 million Baby Boomers are getting to the age where their needs for medical care are increasing greatly."

May 29, 2001: Virginia State, Nursing shortage vexes area health care:"Nurses and nursing students are in short supply locally, and officials say they don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. The shortage "is really starting to hit our area," said Susan Reynolds, director of human resources at Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County. Of the more than 900 employees at the hospital, Reynolds said the total nursing staff is about 324, not including per diem staff who work only as needed. Memorial usually has 15 to 18 job vacancies at any time. "Those numbers (vacancies) fluctuate. It's an always-moving target. I would say at any time, we would have 10 nursing positions open," Reynolds said. "Several years ago, we really had a shortage nationwide. I think it was the same thing," Reynolds said, attributing the current shortage to stress factors; the seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day nature of the work; and people's unwillingness to work weekends and/or on shifts. About two years ago, the numbers leveled off and the hospital filled all its openings, Reynolds said. But recently, the number of applicants has been declining. "In the last year or year and a half, we've been seeing shortages," Reynolds said. She believes the situation will get worse before it gets better, she added, because the demands of nursing make it less attractive than other professions."

Monday, May 28, 2001: Senators have full agenda for Olympia health care visit:"Washington state's U.S. senators expect useful feedback from South Sound residents about the region's health care shortage when they appear Wednesday at a community forum sponsored by several local media organizations, including The Olympian. During the past few months, the pain has grown with the impending closing of Memorial Clinic, the largest and oldest clinic in Thurston County, and a recent wave of doctors retiring, moving or refusing new patients with some insurance plans.

May 28, 2001: Funds for school nurses ailing:" District scrambling to make up for loss of $200,000 in state, federal money. Funding has become precarious for nurses in Springfield’s public schools. With the loss of about $200,000 in state and federal funding for school nurses, the district will have to offset that amount from other district funds. Nurses who resign or retire are not being replaced, and these woes come at a time when the need for nurses and the demands placed upon them continues to escalate. Central High School nurse Doris Jones talks with junior Venus Shitcher. Jones said she started volunteering at school for her children. Bob Linder / News-Leader School nurses provide primary health care for many students. They dispense medication, check for head lice, tend to playground cuts and monitor chronic conditions.

Monday, May 28, 2001: A family tradition of caring continues:"At nursing homes all over the country, they're praying to find families like the Wighams. Last year, Marguerite C. Wigham, a lifelong nurses' aide, decided at the age of 70 to take a free six-week course at Renaissance Manor that would result in her receiving her certified nursing assistant's degree. "The course normally costs $600," she said, "and who's got the money for that?"

May 28, 2001: Forgotten war nurses keep their story alive:"As the surviving black Army nurses from World War II dwindle, their contributions remain virtually unknown." Nearly blind and suffering from depression and other maladies of her 85 years, Mary Petty is more burdened by the daily struggle to stay healthy than she is by thoughts of her role in World War II. Some days, on her morning walks around the Back of the Yards nursing home where she lives, she closes her eyes, and the fleeting memories return. "They try to keep this place like a garden, like an English garden," she said. "If you close your eyes, you could think you're out in an open garden, like I was in England." Hers are mostly fond memories of being a black Army nurse during World War II. Petty and other survivors among the estimated 500 black nurses stationed around the world during the war have chosen mostly to downplay the uglier aspects of that time.,2669,1-0105280153,FF.html

Monday, May 28, 2001: 8.1% Boost Proposed in UNM Budget:"Higher faculty salaries and strong legislative support for health science programs are driving an 8.1 percent increase in the University of New Mexico's proposed budget, officials said. UNM regents on June 5 will consider the proposed $1.19 billion budget for fiscal 2001-02, which begins July 1. Legislators boosted funding for health sciences by about $12 million, partly to increase nursing faculty salaries, said Linda Easley, Health Sciences Center budget director. "We were really pleased with the support from the Legislature," Easley said. Legislators responded to a nationwide nursing shortage by allocating an additional $950,000 to beef up faculty salaries in the College of Nursing, Easley said.

Monday, May 28: Texas, Arkansas among states short of trained nurses:"The nurse has long been a symbol of health care and healing. However, this icon of caring is becoming scarce as young people are beginning to choose less demanding professions with better pay. "Texas has experienced nursing shortages in the past but this time things are different," said Ann Ward, a spokesman with the Texas Hospital Association. "The demand is high but the supply is inadequate. In 1999, Texas needed about 28,000 registered nurses just to be on par with the national average per 100,000 of population." This shortage of nurses affects Texas, Arkansas and the rest of the nation. Cindy Crone, president of the Arkansas Nurses Association, said today's nursing shortage is very real and very different from any experienced in the past. "The nursing shortage is no longer a prediction; it is a reality for Arkansas," she said

Saturday, May 26, 2001: The Reader's View, Nightingale no more:"As a registered nurse, I am disappointed by the inaccuracy of the article about new nursing opportunities ("New nursing jobs offer flexibility," Times, May 20). The truth is, most people don't really understand what registered nurses do. One-third of the article is derived from the opinion of Jerry Searles, claims product line director for Safeco Insurance. Would you quote a nurse to describe his job? The article suggests that at Safeco, nurses have the unique opportunity to "second-guess a doctor" when in reality, this is what nurses do all the time. It is not only a nursing responsibility; it is Washington state law. It is the nurse's legal obligation to question doctors' orders. To neglect to do so would be a violation of the law, which specifies that if a nurse does not question an inappropriate order, the nurse will be held legally accountable."

05/26/01: CCC nursing grads eager to use new skills:"Two young Clinton Community College students will soon start work together as nurses, while a returning student finds a new career after a life-changing accident. teamed-up twins. Laura and Julia Dreissigacker are 21-year-old twins from Wilmington, who were born 55 seconds apart at Adirondack Medical Center on Dec. 28, 1979. Both are 5 feet, 7 inches, with long, straight, brown hair and dark-brown eyes. "We love being twins," said Julia. "Laura is more cautious and a lot of fun." "She’s more impulsive and a lot of fun," Laura responds. "We balance each other out."

May 26, 2001: SADC Nurses Launch HIV/AIDS Network (South Africa):"Nurses from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) this week launched the SADC HIV/AIDS Network of Nurses and Midwives (Sannam), news reports said. More than 10 SADC countries were represented at the meeting which was held at held at the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) offices in Pretoria.

May 26, 2001: Mediated talks break off between Ontario nurses and hospital management Mediated contract talks between Ontario's 40,000 nurses and the group representing hospital management broke off Saturday afternoon. The Ontario Nurses Association, which represents the nurses, said management has failed to address the nurses' priorities of wages, benefits and job security. Ontario Nurses Association president Barb Wahl said the Ontario Hospital Association also failed to deal with concerns over high workloads and the province's nursing shortage. "We just don't have enough nurses at the bedside in Ontario," Wahl said. "A way to bring in more and to keep the ones we've got is a competitive collective agreement," she said. She said the hospital association also didn't take the chance to make changes which cost nothing and would have shown respect, recognition and support for the nurses. "Our members . . . are especially angry about that," she said. Wahl said the hospital association's latest offer gave Ontario's junior nurses a two-per-cent pay hike. Senior nurses were offered $32.43 per hour - one cent more than Alberta nurses, she said.

May 26, 2001: Region is competing for nurses: Forum brainstorms on shortage. There are too many baby boomers and not enough “boomerites. That’s how David A. Landa, administrator of the Eden Park Health Care Center in Poughkeepsie, summed up the nursing shortage in New York and nationwide. Landa doesn’t just compete with other hospitals for nurses; he also competes with other industries for essential workers. There are more than 50 vacant positions at Eden Park right now. Administrators and nurses from area facilities participated in a state Assembly Minority Nursing Shortage Task Force meeting Friday at Dutchess Community College with Assemblyman Joel Miller, R-Poughkeepsie, to discuss the issue and suggest strategies to help attract more people to the profession.

5/26/01, Have nursing degree, will travel: ranks of traveling nurses grow:"When Sue Schaffer gets tired of long hours and high pressure on her registered nursing job, she quickly finds another. In fact, Schaffer is switching jobs for the sixth time since she started in nursing two years ago, moving from a Washington, D.C., hospital to an assignment on the New Jersey shore. She is one of a growing corps of nomadic nurses hospitals rely on to cope with a severe nursing shortage. Started to help hospitals in places like Florida that

May 25, 2001, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Program addresses the nursing shortage:"MCP Hahnemann University has launched a program designed to put at least a small dent in the worsening national nursing shortage. The Philadelphia-based medical school has created an accelerated career entry program that will enable qualified students to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing in 12 months. "We are responding directly to the critical need for nurses in Greater Philadelphia hospitals," said Dr. Gloria Donnelly, dean of MCP Hahnemann University's College of Nursing and Health Professions. The nursing shortage is not just a local issue. A government study projected that by 2008, an additional 450,000 nurses will be needed to meet the demands of an aging population. The United States has about 2.7 million licensed registered nurses.

Thursday, 24 May, 2001: Doctors 'fail dying patients:"Nurses want more support to care for dying patients. Nurses feel doctors may sometimes fail to give proper care to dying patients, a survey suggests. The study by Nursing Times magazine and the Nuffield Trust also found nurses reporting problems getting help from doctors. Some nurses believe that doctors feel they have failed when a patient is dying and this may make them reluctant to provide the care the patient needs. A third thought the doctors they worked with were not good at pain management for patients and one in four said they felt unable to provide good nursing care in the place where they work."

Thursday May 24, 2001: New nurses' leader makes pledge on pay:"The new head of Britain's nurses today vowed to put nursing at the top of the political agenda and break the "glass ceiling" on pay. American Beverly Malone, the first foreign general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, also urged the NHS to "learn from the mistakes" of the privatised US healthcare system. At the RCN's annual conference in Harrogate today, Ms Malone pledged to increase the power, status and pay of nurses. She said: "I think the shortages and retention of nurses is one of the biggest issues. It seems like we are doing well in terms of recruitment, we are bringing them in - the issue is how does one keep them.,7991,496044,00.html

May 24th, 2001: Crusade offers nurses protection:"Desert resident helps develop plastic shield for syringes. In 1992, Lynda Arnold contracted HIV from a hypodermic IV needle and it turned her life upside down. "I was engaged to be married and only 23 years old. I had my whole life ahead of me," Arnold, a registered nurse, told NurseWeek magazine in February. "It was a death sentence for me at the time." Arnold’s case was not unusual. In March 2000, the American Journal of Nursing claimed that 1 million needlestick or sharps injuries occur each year, 16,000 involving HIV-infected blood and 12,000 involving exposure to Hepatitis B and C. But it doesn’t have to happen.

Thursday May 24, 2001: Nurses steered away from Labour:"RCN leader says members can halt drift towards privatisation. The leader of Britain's largest nursing union yesterday challenged her 330,000 members to use their political power at the election to halt a drift towards partial privatisation of the NHS. Christine Hancock, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said Labour should come clean about whether it planned to contract out clinical services involving the care of patients. "There are about 1,000 registered nurses in every parliamentary constituency. If they have a friend or two each, it would be interesting to work out how many majorities would come within that area of influence ... Now is the time when candidates will listen to nurses and talk about health care," she said.,8150,495811,00.html

May 24, 2001: Fears at drop in student nurses:"HOPES of an early end to nursing shortages in the NHS received a blow yesterday, with new figures showing that the number of student nurses in Scotland is at its lowest for three years. The figures, published by the UK Central Council for Nursing and Midwifery, reinforced demands by delegates at the Royal College of Nursing's annual conference for a better deal for Scottish students. Some of them staged an impromptu demonstration at the Harrogate conference hall over the Scottish Executive's failure to match the 10% rise in student bursaries announced for England and Wales. Nurses studying for a diploma receive £4805 a year, or £1900 if they are on a degree course, and only if they are on a low income or have no other earnings.

May 23, 2001: New Study Finds Mental Health Care Needs Forgotten, Especially Among Vulnerable Populations, Congressional Leaders Call for Action:"The nation's mental health care needs go largely unmet, according to a report released by Community Voices: HealthCare for the Underserved. The report details new policy solutions aimed at expanding access to care and providing early intervention services. Forgotten Policy: An Examination of Mental Health in the U.S. found that more than one in four U.S. adults (28%) experience a mental health or substance abuse disorder in any given year. While mental health and substance abuse disorders are recognized as a leading cause of disability, less than one-third of those adults with a mental disorder and less than half of those suffering from substance abuse will receive treatment. Barriers to treatment include the lack of health insurance coverage, the high cost of pharmaceuticals, and stigma surrounding mental health. Barriers to quality mental health care are exacerbated in vulnerable populations. Ethnic minorities face both linguistic and cultural barriers to care. Rural populations face additional obstacles with the scarcity of providers in rural areas."

Monday, May 21, 2001: For nurses on WMass duty, days go by at feverish pace:"Heart monitors beep and flash on Wesson 4, as nurse Lynn M. Perry wonders whether to give all four patients their 8 o'clock medications or wait until she gets back from a CAT scan with yet-another patient who suffers from a brain abscess. Perry's dilemma seems like a Catch-22. But when a Baystate Medical Center neurosurgeon calls from downstairs asking Perry where she is, the decision is made for her.

May 21, 2001: Red Cross recognizes Enid nurse:"Nurses have played a vital part in Red Cross history, and Kay Farrell wants to make sure the legacy continues. Farrell, of Enid, received the Ann Magnussen Award for her contributions to the American Red Cross. She received the award Sunday at the Red Cross National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. It is the Red Cross' highest national honor given to a registered nurse volunteer.

May 21, 2001: Fortune 500 executives grim about controlling health care costs:"Large employers want health plans to keep premium increases low while keeping quality high. But they're not sure the managed care system can do that. Physicians could face greater scrutiny on quality while getting no letup on reimbursement pressures as the nation's largest employers look for alternatives to the current "unsustainable" managed care system. That's the word from a Health Affairs telephone survey of senior employee benefits and human resources executives at 408 of the Fortune 500 companies. The study appeared in the journal's May/June issue. Major employers have a gloomy outlook about their ability to keep employee health care costs under control. They increasingly view health care as a commodity and ask employees to shoulder more of the cost.

Sunday, May 20, 2001: Jailhouse nurses say pay is good, pace less hectic:"Karen Hewitt knows how hard it is to retain registered nurses. She once had one stay just eight hours on the job. "She said, 'I cannot do this, because every time that door locks behind me, I'm so afraid that I won't be able to get out,' " said Hewitt, a registered nurse at Dawson State Jail in Dallas. "She wasn't really afraid of the inmates. It was the doors locking behind her that she was afraid of." Recruiting and retention are constant problems for nurse administrators and human-resources professionals at jails, but the reasons for the staffing struggles differ from those found at hospitals in the outside world. "I think there's a problem with retention throughout the criminal-justice system," said Vurlee Brown, director of nurses at Hutchins State Jail in southern Dallas.

Sunday, May 20, 2001: More men entering nursing profession:"Archie Drake discovered right after high school that he wanted to be a nurse. "I started out working at a nursing home as an orderly," said Drake, now the nurse manager of the intensive-care unit and telemetry at St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas. "I got into that and really enjoyed it. I decided at that point that I would actually go to school for nursing." Drake is part of a small but slowly growing number of men who are embarking on careers in nursing, a career field traditionally dominated by women. The overall percentage of male registered nurses in the work force edged up from 4.9 percent in 1996 to 5.4 percent in 2000, according to

Sunday, May 20, 2001: New nursing jobs offer flexibility: Alternative roles have appeal:"Virginia Lara is a traveling nurse from Oregon who is working a 13-week assignment at the Providence campus of Swedish Medical Center. Lara works for Flying Nurses, a Texas company that supplies nurses for temporary jobs around the country. The nurse's station at a hospital is a very different place today than it was a decade ago, and as the health needs of Americans continue to change, often it's not even in a hospital at all. According to the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA), more and more nurses are finding new ways to use their skills and expertise. "We have a variety of jobs out there for nurses," said WSNA practice and education specialist Barbara Sullivan. "If nurses want to work for themselves, there are plenty of opportunities to do that."

Sunday 20 May 2001: Nurses condemn 'Third World' health service:"THE leader of Britain's nurses has joined the onslaught against Labour's record on the NHS, warning that patients are being treated in "offensive" Third World conditions. Christine Hancock, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, talking exclusively to The Telegraph said that standards of care in hospitals were so bad that nurses were frequently reduced to tears because they knew that seriously ill people were not getting the treatment they needed. She said that the anger expressed by Sharron Storer, the Birmingham woman who berated Tony Blair last week over her boyfriend's inadequate cancer treatment, was entirely justified.

Sunday, 20 May, 2001: Nursing in need of care, Staff morale is low because nurses are overstretched:"Despite the government's promise of more funding for the health service, including 20,000 extra nurses by 2005, morale among the workforce is said to be at rock bottom. On the eve of the Royal College of Nursing Congress in Harrogate, Melissa Jackson spoke to a nurse to find out what life is really like in the frontline of patient care."

Saturday, 19 May, 2001: Patient secrecy rules 'preventing research:"The new rules are restricting the flow of vital information. Some of the leading figures in British medicine have told the BBC that the law that protects the confidentiality of patients' medical records is hampering research into cancer. Experts say new rules introduced by the General Medical Council (GMC) may make it impossible for scientists to gain access to existing medical records and stored samples of human tissue.

May 18, 2001: D-FW hospitals in 'quicksand' over worsening nurse shortage:"Despite a concerted, three-year-long effort to attract and retain nurses, officials at the Medical Center of Arlington say their registered-nursing pool has a roughly 30% vacancy rate -- just as the 287-bed hospital is about to embark on a $70 million expansion project. "This is the worst shortage I have ever seen and, given where we are in Arlington, we are competing with both Dallas and Fort Worth hospitals for nurses," said Cheryl Mayo, the facility's vice president of human resources. "I could probably hire 10 to 15 nurses for critical care and still have vacancies. Every hospital in the area is looking for qualified nurses." And having trouble finding them. The vacancy rate for critical-care nurses in Metroplex hospitals has reached a record 29.1%, according to preliminary statistics released by the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council and provided exclusively to the Dallas Business Journal. That's up from 16.9% last year.

May 18, 2001: Who’ll Care For Us? Experts See Shortage of Nurses Worsening:"Push that call button at the hospital, and you might have to wait 45 minutes or longer for a nurse to show up. The problem is too many patients and too few nurses. It could get a lot worse, government officials say. With the number of new nurses getting state licenses barely rising — and demand for nurses soaring because of an aging population and the popularity of home health care — the Labor Department projects a shortage of 450,000 nurses in just seven years. "We have a problem of attracting people into this profession that we probably haven't had in the past," said Janet Heinrich, a director focusing on public health issues for the U.S. General Accounting Office, which released a report this week to a Senate subcommittee investigating the nurse shortage."

Thursday May 17, 2001: U.S. ruling expected in bitter anesthesia battle:"ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- When you are put to sleep for an operation, who should administer your anesthesia? An anesthesiologist -- a doctor, that is -- or a certified nurse anesthetist who makes one third as much? It's a bitter turf battle that's been waged in the operating room and taken to the steps of Capitol Hill. Doctors say it's all about patient safety. Nurses say it's quality care at a cost-effective price.

Thursday May 17, 2001: Elderly patient died on trolley in understaffed hospital:"A SENIOR nurse said that 61 patients were in the casualty department when she arrived for duty on the night an elderly man died on a hospital trolley. At the inquest into the death of Leonard Stephens, 89, Sister Sue Halliwell said the pressure in the accident and emergency department at the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent, was so great that they ran out of trolleys and had to attend to patients in chairs."

May 17, 2001: Nurse stole painkillers from hospital, deputies say:"Brandy Kilpatrick had a 20-year nursing career and a job as a head nurse at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Detectives say Kilpatrick also kept a deep secret. On si