1. Potera, Carol

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Workplace stress. Burnout and stress continued to plague nurses in 2015, and many nurses believe their organizations don't help them cope. Nurses prone to shift work sleep disorder have an increased risk of committing medication errors, being involved in malpractice suits, suffering work-related injuries, and developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.


To deal with stress, researchers recommend that nurses first take care of themselves by eating healthy foods, exercising, balancing work and personal life, and finding ways to handle stress. There are several helpful resources for doing so.


* The American Nurses Association (ANA) provides a free, online health risk appraisal at


* The ANA also offers a free, on-demand Webinar on shift work sleep disorder at; those viewing it can receive continuing education credit.


* The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offers a wealth of resources for shift workers on handling stress at


* Kushner and Ruffin, writing in the March 2015 Nursing Clinics of North America, describe how shift work, 12-hour shifts, overtime, and inadequate staffing increase fatigue; they also provide a tool kit for handling work-related stress.



Nursing education. Several nursing organizations published findings and recommendations in 2015 regarding the current state of nursing education.


* Enrollments. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing fall 2014 Survey of Nursing Schools (, enrollment in degree-completion and doctor of nursing practice programs continued to accelerate; however, in the 2014-2015 academic year, nearly 70,000 qualified applications were turned away from professional nursing programs (more than 15,000 applications were for advanced-degree programs). Reasons cited were budget cuts and shortages of clinical teaching sites and qualified faculty.


* Simulation. Clinical simulation refers to the use of technology or actors to stand in for real patients, providing hands-on experiences with clinical situations without putting patients at risk. In April, the National League for Nursing released A Vision for Teaching with Simulation, a position statement that includes a call to action to increase the use of simulation for nursing education. Links to learning tools from the Simulation Innovation Resource Center can be found at Look for an upcoming AJN Reports on the topic.


* Interprofessional collaboration. The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, organized to pursue the goals of the Institute of Medicine's 2010 report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, found that only a few top-ranked nursing schools had added required clinical courses involving intraprofessional collaboration to their curricula. (See for more.)


* New graduate employment. According to a survey of 582 schools of nursing by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, released in October 2015, 47.4% of hospitals and other health care organizations now require new hires to have a nursing baccalaureate (up 2.3 percentage points from 2014). And the job-offer rates four to six months after completion of nursing baccalaureate or master's degree programs were 90% and 94%, respectively.



Nursing's image. Wearing scrubs and a stethoscope, Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, RN, described caring for a patient with Alzheimer's disease for the talent portion of the 2016 Miss America competition. Joy Behar, host of ABC's The View, mocked her and quipped, "Why is she wearing a doctor's stethoscope?" A social media explosion ensued, including the Facebook page "Show Me Your Stethoscope," where 600,000 nurses posted criticisms, and thousands of nurses sent stethoscope selfies to The View. Read editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy's editorial on the topic in the November 2015 issue.-Carol Potera