Nurses Should Be Leaders...But Will They Stick Around?
According to a survey conducted by Gallup on behalf of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an overwhelming majority of opinion leaders say nurses should have more influence. But these opinion leaders—including insurance, corporate, health services, government, and industry thought leaders, as well as university faculty—see significant barriers that prevent nurses from fully participating as leaders in health and health care.
The survey, “Nursing Leadership from Bedside to Boardroom: Opinion Leaders’ Perceptions,” was administered via telephone to 1,504 opinion leaders across key roles and industries.
In the survey, nurses were identified as one of the most trusted sources of health information but as having less influence on health care reform than government, insurance, and pharmaceutical executives and others.
Major barriers to increased influence for nurses included that nurses are not perceived as important decision makers or revenue generators compared with doctors and do not have a single voice on national issues. Opinion leaders ranked nurses behind six other stakeholders when it comes to influencing health reform over the next 5 to 10 years. Other key findings from the survey include:
- Opinion leaders feel that nurses’ primary areas of influence are reducing medical errors (51%), improving quality of care (50%), and coordinating patient care in the health care system (40%).
- Large majorities of opinion leaders said they would like to see nurses have more influence in a large number of areas, including reducing medical errors and improving patient safety (90%), improving quality of care (89%), promoting wellness and expanding preventive care (86%), improving health care efficiency and reducing costs (84%), coordinating care through the health care system (83%), helping the health care system adapt to an aging population (83%), and increasing access to health care (74%).
Findings from another survey indicate that nurses themselves are growing increasingly frustrated with their positions. Nearly one third of RNs surveyed for the “2010 Survey of Registered Nurses: Job Satisfaction and Career Plans,” conducted by AMN Healthcare, said they will not be working in their current job a year from now, and close to half said they plan to alter their career path in the next 1 to 3 years in a way that would either take them out of the nursing field entirely or reduce their contribution to direct patient care by working fewer hours or choosing a less demanding role. Driving part of the decision to potentially change career paths or jobs is the fact that nearly half of those surveyed said their job is affecting their health.
The survey collected data from 1,399 respondents during a period of economic recession and in the course of an ongoing national debate over health care reform. The survey reflects how RNs may have altered their career plans due to the recession, how they might respond to an economic recovery, and highlights whether they believe health care reform will address the nurse shortage.
On the health care reform issue, only 6% of the respondents were very confident that reform will provide a mechanism for ensuring an adequate supply of nurses. The majority of nurses (55%) believed the quality of care nurses provide today has declined compared to 5 years ago. The survey notes that 29% of nurses plan to take steps in the next 1 to 3 years that would reduce their role or take them out of nursing altogether, and an additional 15% said they will also make a change in their career path, like becoming a travel nurse or nurse practitioner.
However, while the survey highlights dissatisfaction with their current job, most nurses are satisfied with their careers overall: 59% would select nursing as a career if they had it to do it all over, and 64% would recommend nursing as a career to young people.
Sources.“Groundbreaking New Survey Finds that Diverse Opinion Leaders Say Nurses Should Have More Influence on Health Systems and Services.” (2010, January 20). Retrieved March 5, 2010, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/groundbreaking-new-survey-finds-that-diverse-opinion-leaders-say-nurses-should-have-more-influence-on-health-systems-and-services-82154412.html.“Survey: Over 40 Percent of Nurses to Alter Career Path.” (2010, February 3). Retrieved March 5, 2010, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey--over-40-percent-of-nurses-to-alter-career-path-83439397.html.
Could an ‘Overweight’ BMI Reduce Mortality Risk?
Adults older than 70 who are classified as overweight are less likely to die over a 10-year period than adults who are in the “normal” weight range, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Researchers looked at data collected over a decade among more than 9,200 Australian men and women between ages 70 and 75 at the beginning of the study, who were assessed for their health and lifestyle as part of a study on healthy aging. The participants were followed for 10 years or until their death, whichever was sooner, and factors such as lifestyle, demographics, and health were measured.
The research uncovered that mortality risk was lowest for participants with a body mass index (BMI) classified as overweight, with the risk of death reduced by 13% compared with normal-weight participants. The benefits were only seen in the overweight category, not in those people who are obese. The results have made researchers question whether the World Health Organization’s BMI thresholds for overweight and obese are overly restrictive for older people.
In those participants who died before the conclusion of the study, the researchers concluded that the type of disease that caused their death (e.g., heart disease, cancer) did not affect the level of protection being overweight had. To remove any risk of bias in participants with illnesses that caused them to lose weight, as well as increased their risk of dying, the researchers contrasted participants who were relatively healthy compared with those who had major chronic diseases or smoked and found no apparent differences in the BMI-mortality relationship.
While the same benefit in being overweight was true for men and women, being sedentary doubled the risk of death for women, whereas it only increased the risk by a quarter in men.
Source.“‘Overweight’ Adults Age 70 and Older Are Less Likely to Die Over a 10 Year Period Than Those of ‘Normal’ Weight.’” (2010, January 28). Retrieved March 5, 2010, from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-01/w-aa012610.php.
Looking to Deities During Depression
Research suggests that religious belief can help protect against symptoms of depression, but an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology points out that in patients diagnosed with clinical depression, belief in a concerned God can improve response to medical treatment.
A total of 136 adults diagnosed with major depression or bipolar depression at inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care facilities in Chicago participated in the study. The patients were surveyed shortly after admission for treatment and 8 weeks later, using the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, and the Religious Well-Being Scale.
Response to medication, defined as a 50% reduction in symptoms, can vary in psychiatric patients, but the study found that those with strong beliefs in a personal and concerned God were more likely to experience an improvement. Specifically, participants who scored in the top third of the Religious Well-Being Scale were 75% more likely to get better with medical treatment for clinical depression.
The researchers tested whether the explanation for the improved response was linked instead to the feeling of hope, which is typically a feature of religious belief. But degree of hopefulness did not predict whether a patient fared better on antidepressant medication. The positive response “was tied specifically to the belief that a Supreme Being cared,” one of the researchers explained.
Source.“Belief in a Caring God Improves Response to Medical Treatment for Depression.” (2010, February 23). Retrieved March 5, 2010, from http://www.newswise.com/articles/belief-in-a-caring-god-improves-response-to-medical-treatment-for-depression32.