This month's issue brings you several noteworthy offerings, each deserving mention.
First, you'll notice a third table-of-contents page for a special supplement, State of the Science: Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis. This report covers a collaborative project that AJN undertook with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses. (The report's executive summary appears in print in this issue; the entire report is available online at http://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Pages/SOS.aspx. As the report details, in 2006 an estimated 46 million U.S. adults had arthritis, with that number expected to rise to 67 million by 2030. Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form, is the leading cause of joint replacement surgery. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and arthritis organizations have developed a national public health agenda aimed at prevention and early intervention, for the most part, nurses haven't yet been part of this effort. Just as we've worked hard in preventive efforts against diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, now we must address OA with equal determination. We have an important role to play in educating the public, in dispelling the myths that OA is a disease that inevitably accompanies aging and that nothing can be done to prevent it. But we must first educate ourselves, and I urge you to review the complete report.
This month I join many members of the International Academy of Nursing Editors in calling renewed attention to the Institute of Medicine's 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. AJN has published several articles on this already (see our resource page at http://bit.ly/w3eIoi); now we're pleased to bring you “Nurses on Boards,” an article in our Professional Development department highlighting the report's recommendation that nurses need to be “at the table” when policy decisions are made. Susan B. Hassmiller, senior adviser for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides some real-world examples of nurses who've made their way into boardrooms and, because of their nursing perspective and experiences, have been instrumental in shaping strategies and policies that have improved health care delivery or management.
Also featured in this issue is an original research article, “New Nurses: Has the Recession Increased Their Commitment to Their Jobs?” in which Carol S. Brewer and colleagues report on their 2006 and 2009 surveys of two cohorts of newly licensed RNs. The researchers’ findings suggest that employers shouldn't be complacent about new nurses’ commitment to their current jobs. Brewer and colleagues note that the nursing shortage has eased during the recession because many older nurses returned to the workforce, increased their hours, or decided to delay retirement; and that this has favored employers, who have not had to compete for nurses by offering higher wages or other incentives. But their study found that nurses in the later cohort didn't report greater job satisfaction than those in the earlier cohort and perceived significantly fewer job opportunities. The researchers concluded that “newly licensed RNs may just be waiting for the recession to end before changing jobs.” Their findings should serve to caution employers that measures to improve nurses’ working conditions and wages, as well as programs to improve retention, are essential to avert a renewed shortage as the recession eases.
There's much more in this issue, of course, including a feature article on current guidelines for the diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a consideration of the ethics of hiding medications in food. I invite you to sit down at our table, for starters, and have a closer look.