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How nurses can help with the challenges of the ACA
By Keith Carlson
The Affordable Care Act has now swung more fully into action as the first major deadline has come and gone. We all know that information is a form of power, and since nurses are indeed the most trusted professionals in the United States, we can be certain that many patients will turn to us for advice on navigating the ACA. As the ACA continues to become implemented more robustly, what responsibility do nurses carry vis-à-vis the education of our patients regarding the promises and challenges of this historic legislation?
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We are developing our public policy platform for the coming year and we cannot do this without knowing the thoughts and wishes of the membership. The patient safety act ballot initiative for November 2014 seeks to change the landscape for nursing. Your participation is extremely important to the future direction of your association.
Please click here to complete this very brief survey.

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NEW DATE: Registration Open: MARN Accredited Approver Unit Eastern Workshop
Applying the 2013 ANCC Criteria to Nursing Continuing Education
One Year Later: Lessons Learned

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Symposium flyer, click here.
Register now, click here.
Wellesley Gateway Building
93 Worcester Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-9181

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  JBI Evidence-Based Practice Resources - Try it Free for January
Advance healthcare using content and tools from the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI), a global leader in evidence-based practice, only on Ovid. Search evidence in any specialty including systematic reviews, recommended practices, evidence summaries, patient handouts and more. Then use JBI's unique tools to get evidence into practice. Try it Today!

Deadline April 18: Modern Healthcare's annual '100 Most Influential People in Healthcare'
It's that time of year again! Modern Healthcare’s annual “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” is underway and nominations are being accepted through Friday, April 18. After the nomination process, there will be voting to whittle the list down from 300 to the 100 most influential. We encourage you to nominate nurse leaders who are elevating the profession. The nomination process is easy – only five fields to fill out.
(If you'd like to nominate ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN or CEO Marla J. Weston, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, please note that ANA is located in Silver Spring, MD.)

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Nominations Open for Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award
Honoring New England Caregivers Who Demonstrate Extraordinary Compassion for Patients
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between patients and their healthcare providers, is seeking nominations for its 2014 Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award®. This prestigious award, given annually since 1999, recognizes caregivers and teams of caregivers who demonstrate extraordinary compassion for patients and families.

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  Free CNE credits are just a click away.

We've made it easy to earn free CNE online by offering 24/7 access to more than 40 courses on pediatric and adolescent healthcare. We also offer several courses approved for the ethics credits you now need and our new, short, CNE-accredited video tutorials are perfect for watching on the go.

Research Participants Needed
A nurse educator and doctoral student would like to interview new Registered Nurses with learning disabilities to describe their transition into practice experience. The interview should take about 45 minutes and there is no cost other than your time. As a gesture of appreciation participants will receive a $10 coffee gift card. The study has been approved by Regis College IRB and all information is confidential. If interested or if you know of anyone who may qualify please email the researcher at
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Quantity of red blood cells received linked to infection risk
The more red blood cells patients receive during a blood transfusion, the greater their risk of infection, according to an analysis of previously published studies. Researchers with the University of Michigan Health System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System analyzed 21 randomized controlled trials and found the association was most pronounced in elderly patients undergoing hip or knee surgeries. These patients had a 30 percent lower risk of infection when fewer transfusions were used.
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Overcoming communication challenges of EHRs
By Jessica Taylor
The transition to electronic health records can bring some concerns for healthcare providers, including workflow, training, privacy and security. But one of the most important issues is communication, and many clinicians are concerned that using a computer with a patient will hinder communication. To overcome these challenges and make sure your patient has your undivided attention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has provided five communication behaviors for the integration of EHRs into your practice.
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New regulations allow patients to get lab test results quicker
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Patients and impatience —often they go together like unflattering hospital gowns and exposed derrieres. Few things can test your patience as much as waiting to learn about — and worrying over — the state of your health. And few things can trigger anxiety more than the eternity (or so it sometimes seems) between getting medical tests and receiving the results.

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Exchange enrollment exceeds expectations, but too early to determine impact
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
The Obama administration's last-ditch efforts to get people to sign up for insurance through the insurance exchanges paid off as the total enrollment numbers exceeded 7 million by the March 31 open enrollment deadline. The enrollment data surprised nearly everyone. Just weeks before the deadline, the Congressional Budget Office revised its estimate of new enrollees down to 6 million. But while proponents of the Affordable Care Act had reason to celebrate, there are still many unknowns that will determine the long-term success of the law.

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ICD-10: Painful to implement, painful to delay
If the implementation of ICD-10 diagnosis codes is delayed by an act of Congress, as seems likely, doctors may be spared a headache — but healthcare CIOs will gain one. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid had set forth a firm Oct. 1 deadline for the implementation of a new and vastly expanded system of diagnosis and insurance billing codes, a transition that has been in the works since the 1990s and had been pushed back repeatedly.

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Report: Expand nursing and allied health roles
Nursing Careers Allied Health
Expanding the roles of nursing assistants, registered nurses and allied health assistants could shave almost $430 million a year from public hospital budgets, according to a new report. The Grattan Institute report, Unlocking skills in hospitals: better jobs, more care, suggests an extra 17,000 nursing assistants to take on tasks, such as stock medications, clerical work, making beds, moving and turning patients, and feeding and bathing, will free up RNs to focus on other work.
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Preparation, knowledge key in fighting West Nile virus
By Katy Bynum
Several counties in North Texas — one of the hardest hit regions by West Nile virus in recent years — have announced a coordinated effort to prevent and monitor the spread of the mosquito-borne infectious disease. Texas reported 172 cases of WNV in 2013, resulting in 13 deaths, and 2,347 cases were reported nationally, with 114 deaths. WNV season officially begins in April and runs through November; however, the virus can be transmitted year-round — whenever mosquitoes are biting. Unfortunately, predicting how severe the upcoming WNV season is difficult.
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Robotic surgery trends create new career options for nurses
Oncology Nurse Advisor
A rather large wave of opportunity is about to arrive for perioperative oncology nurses working in or wanting to learn robotic surgery. The market for robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for prostatectomy, hysterectomy, and other cancer procedures is booming as more hospitals and clinics purchase surgical robots and begin training their surgical teams to operate them. Add to this growth, the impending arrival of new surgical robot manufacturers to compete with the predominate da Vinci Surgical System, and thousands of new positions for perioperative nurses certified in robotics could soon be created.
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Article emphasizes need for evidence-based practice in ICUs
The rationale behind common nursing interventions often is based solely on tradition and not research or other evidence-based practice guidelines, according to a newly published critical care nursing article. The article, published in the April issue of the journal Critical Care Nurse, encourages nurses to critically evaluate and apply evidence to their daily practice to improve patient outcomes and to stop using practice interventions that are based solely on tradition. Current reviews of clinical practice suggest fewer than 15 percent of clinicians consistently implement evidence-based care, while original research might not be put into routine clinical practice for up to two decades, according to the article.
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Nurses move beyond patient bedside in research efforts
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Why, wondered neuroscience nurse Angela Starkweather, did some patients still have pain? She was referring to patients she has cared for in hospital trauma and neurosurgery units over the years. Despite undergoing extensive surgeries, some patients still complained of pain. “It drove me crazy because we are doing everything we can; why are they still having (pain)?” Starkweather said. “I saw so much variation in patient outcomes, particularly regarding post-surgical pain and response to pain treatments.”
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Warning signs for stroke often overlooked in emergency rooms
RTT News
The initial warning signs of stroke symptoms often go unnoticed, according to a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University. For the study the researchers examined data collected from emergency room visits as part of the 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases, and from the 2008-2009 State emergency department databases. In total they examined records for 187,188 stroke admissions and found that 12.7 percent of those patients had previously visited an emergency room within 30 days, receiving an unrelated diagnosis. About one in ten of those patients reported leaving the hospital with headache, dizziness or other stroke related symptoms.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Nurses' calm and compassion ease patient suffering (Healthline News)
Trick of the Trade: Nasal foreign body removal using foley catheter (ALiEM)
Common nursing practices based on tradition, not evidence (FierceHealthcare)
4 ways to improve the nursing environment, patient safety (FierceHealthcare)
Abscess, 'Answers' (EM Lyceum)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


MARN Nursing Flash
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Jessica Taylor, Senior Medical Editor, 202.684.7169   
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