January wraps up with nursing news putting a focus on the importance of credentials to patients, employers and nurses alike. The idea of a buddy system is being looked at as a way to help prevent nurse fatigue, per American Nurses Association (ANA) guidelines. And the ANA has also declared 2015 to be the year of ethics for nurses, as it released an updated Code of Ethics for the first time in 14 years. READ MORE

Midway of January, the new year keeps the focus on many of the same hot topics for nurses throughout 2014. Further details have emerged in regards to the success of nursing education simulation programs, a call for increased hiring looks at some of the reasons healthcare providers operate as they do and the benefits of smartphone technology are examined for ever-busy nurses.

New study cites need for more faculty training in simulation education

A recent study offers support for the use of high quality healthcare simulation as a substitute for up to 50% of traditional clinical time. The findings also reveal a key factor in the success of nursing education simulation programs is a dedicated team of educators who are well-trained in the best practices of theory-based simulation and debriefing methods, according to a news release. Read more at Nurse.com.

More nurses are better for patients. Why is it so hard to get hospitals to hire them?

A growing body of research has tied more nurse attention to better patient outcomes, from lower rates of infection to shorter hospital stays — which ultimately save money and can help hospitals avoid costly lawsuits. But Washington Hospital Center received 6,316 applications last year, and hired just 7.5 percent of them. So why won’t hospitals hire more people?  Read more from the Washington Post.

Smartphone-based mobility for nurses

In the fast-paced, complex healthcare environment, nurses do whatever it takes to manage patient care – despite the risks. But the time and information needed to make complex decisions required for safe care is often inadequate. As the complexity of nursing increases, clinicians need more sophisticated tools to help them do their jobs. Mobile technologies and applications that can capture and transmit data, as well as facilitate communication, are increasingly needed to streamline workflows, increase productivity and improve patient safety. Read more at ADVANCE for Nurses.

The end of 2014 brings a time to celebrate as well as to reflect for nurses. Looking back, the profession has been ranked as the most honest and ethical one for the 13th straight year. Looking ahead, nurses consider what changes they would like to see in healthcare in 2015. And as the calendar page turns, it’s as good a time as any to find out more about disaster preparedness in the workplace. Read more about these stories in Nursing News Trending Now.

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Do you like the idea of working independently, in a varying environment, while making a huge impact on patients and their families? Home health nursing may be the specialty for you.

Home care nurses travel to patients’ homes to treat people who were recently discharged from the hospital or suffer from chronic conditions. A special subset, hospice nurses, treats those who are terminally ill.

Many home care nurses are employed by or affiliated with a hospital, but others work for independent agencies.

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 Choosing your nursing school is no small task. Your choice will guide your education and your future career.

But no two nursing schools are exactly the same. Factors like cost, distance from your home and time to completion all vary from one institution to another.

So how can you narrow down your choices and choose the nursing school that is right for you?

Here are the top five factors we recommend considering when comparing nursing schools.

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The Institute of Medicine recently published “The Future of Nursing,” an infographic that highlights the growing number of nurse practitioners in the U.S. The number of nurse practitioners per primary care doctor more than doubled between 1995 and 2009. These advanced practice registered nurses will help meet rising demand for healthcare services due to the projected 32 million new insured patients under the Affordable Care Act1 and looming shortage of 63,000 physicians by 2015.2 READ MORE

Since 2010, legislation outlined in the Affordable Care Act has guided the U.S. healthcare system through a series of changes aimed at leveraging innovation and technological advances to better meet the needs of millions of new patients. The industry is rapidly evolving to respond to unprecedented challenges, including the rising demand for patient care. READ MORE