1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

Article Content

Nursing's global challenges. According to a new report released by the International Council of Nurses on the global nursing workforce, although nursing shortages are prevalent throughout the world-regardless of a country's economic health-the average nurse-to-population ratio in high-income countries is almost eight times higher than that in low-income countries. The report names three critical challenges related to nursing shortages: the effects of HIV and AIDS; the migration of nurses, both within countries and across borders; and the restructuring of health care delivery systems. Read the full report at


Childhood obesity is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy 21 years later, according to a study published in the November 30, 2004, issue of Circulation. An elevated body mass index beginning in childhood and increasing over time strongly predicted the development of increased left ventricular mass, as measured by ultrasonographic imaging, in early adulthood. Systolic blood pressure in adulthood was also associated with increased cardiac mass, but levels of triglycerides and of high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were not. The prevention of overweight and obesity in children can reduce their long-term risk of developing heart disease, say the authors.


New tools for patient safety. At the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's third annual patient safety conference (September 26 to 29, 2004), grantees showcased innovations that promote patient safety. One useful tool was a free video on how to inform patients and families that a harmful medical error has been made (for information on the video, go to Another is an interactive Web site of continuing education modules (from the National Patient Safety Foundation) on patient safety; for more information, visit