Saying they need a more “powerful national movement” to protect nurses, three unions merged in late February. United American Nurses, the California Nurses Association National/Nurses Organizing Committee and the Massachusetts Nurses Association formed the United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee. The 150,000-member union is part of the AFL-CIO. The group’s highest priority is RN unionization, says CNA spokesperson Charles Idelson. Legislatively, the group will push for nurse staffing ratios, workplace safety rules and a national pension for RNs.
ONLINE HEALTH WORKFORCE INFORMATION CENTER LAUNCHES
The new Health Workforce Information Center launched in February. Funded by the Health Resource and Services Administration and operated by the University of North Dakota’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the center is a national clearinghouse for information on workforce news, data and research; sources of funding; and lists of professional organizations serving everyone from home health aides to physicians. The site offers free, customized assistance to anyone, says Wendy Opsahl, communications coordinator for the center. For more information, visit www.healthworkforceinfo.org.
PHYSICIAN LEADERS CALL FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL REFORM
Medical schools need to attract more minorities, make tuition more affordable and prepare doctors to work as members of health care teams, according to a report issued in January from a panel chaired by Jordan Cohen, M.D., former president of the American Association of Medical Colleges. Cohen says that the nation’s health care system seeks “different competencies than in the past,” and that medical schools have an opportunity to make changes while enrollment is rapidly expanding. The report, Revisiting the Medical School Educational Mission at a Time of Great Expansion, is available at www.macyfoundation.org.
SECOND-DEGREE NURSES MORE LIKELY TO STAY AT JOBS
Second-degree nurses—those who receive a nursing degree after they already have one bachelor’s degree—are more satisfied with their work and more likely to stay at their jobs, according to a study of 953 newly licensed nurses. The study compared second-degree nurses with those who have a single bachelor’s degree. The authors found second-degree nurses are better able to cope with a challenging work environment, largely because they have prior work experiences to learn from. The study appears in the January/February issue of the Journal of Professional Nursing.
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