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New and Noteworthy
A forum for discussion on recent news and developments in healthcare and the NP field.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Nurses now have a revamped set of rules to consider when it comes to ethics. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has updated their code of ethics for the first time since 2001 and have dubbed 2015 as the "year of ethics." The ANA also plans on having numerous activities to support this theme.

“The public places its faith in nurses to practice ethically. A patient’s health, autonomy and even life or death, can be affected by a nurse’s decisions and actions,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “ANA believes it’s important that all nurses practice at the highest ethical level, and therefore, we will be offering a full range of activities to inform and support nurses to achieve that goal in a stressful and ever-changing health care environment.”

The new code of ethics (revised as of January 1) is the result of a four-year revision process based on a review of thousands of comments from nurses. The ANA says that the new code “reflects modern clinical practice and evolving conditions, and fully addresses transformations in health care," with a goal to make the code more efficient. Ethics will also be the theme of National Nurses Week (May 6 to 12).

The code can be found here.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Members of the Senate and House of Representatives have written a letter to Health and Human Service Secretary Sylvia Burwell regarding their concerns over an HHS committee's recommendation replacing the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men to a one-year deferral period post intercourse. Although an improvement from the original lifetime ban, lawmakers still deem the policy to be outdated and discriminatory. Here is an excerpt from the letter:

If we are serious about protecting and enhancing our nation’s blood supply, we must embrace science and reject outdated stereotypes. As such, we urge you to implement a risk-based blood donation policy for MSM, rather than simply another arbitrary time-based deferral. Science has shown us that our current policy is not justified, so we know there is a better path — a path that will make for a safer and more robust blood supply for everyone while also respecting the contributions of all Americans. It is up to us to take it.
The FDA flags gay and bisexual men's organs as high risk even though they are required to be tested for HIV. This is due to outdated regulations of the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic was rampant along with misinformation over the disease.
What are your thoughts on the letter to HHS? Do you think the ban should be removed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Women with dense breasts are at greater risk for cancer and tumors, which are more difficult to locate in their breasts. New research presented at the Radiological Society of North America compared 3D mammography in tandem with full-field digital mammography (FFDM) against just FFDM by itself in 25,547 women between 50 and 69. The results showed that the 3D mammography approach detected more cancers (211 to 163). In addition, the 3D mammography/FFDM approach detected 80% of cancers in patients with dense breasts as compared to just 59% with FFDM alone.

Research from earlier this year has shown the efficiency of 3D mammograms, as they are more cost-effective and save more lives. So what are your thoughts on 3D mammography? Do you think it can consistently prove to be more efficient than FFDM alone?

Via [Time]
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ebola virus

According to the University of Nebraska's Medical Center, it cost over $1 million to treat two Ebola patients. In addition, it is still unknown as to who is responsible for the bill. Ten people have been treated for the deadly virus on U.S. soil thus far, and the $1 million sum is the first "on-the-record estimate" of the cost to treat Ebola patients in the U.S.

“At UNMC, it has cost around $1.16 million to treat the two patients directed to us by the federal government. Treatment costs vary based on the severity of the patient when they arrive, but the cost is well beyond the normal costs incurred for an intensive care patient,” the school’s chancellor, Dr. Jeffrey Gold, said. 

“In addition to the direct costs, we also take additional beds in the ward out of service when an Ebola patient is being treated which is a direct financial cost to the hospital. We estimate having to take those additional beds out of service has cost $148,000 so far,” Gold added. 

Gold went on to say that the federal government should cover the bill, as these were "unique cases" and are not recoverable from insurance policies. What are your thoughts on this excessive bill?

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

As Nurse Practitioner Week comes to a close, we wanted to take this time to thank our colleagues for their continued diligence. Nurse practitioners are a network of 192,000 (within the U.S.) healthcare providers who have brought substantial change to the world of healthcare. We will continue to fight the battle for unrestricted practice authority as our profession grows.

As we head into the new year, we wanted to ask you this: What does being a nurse practitioner mean to you, and what do you think it will mean to you in the future?
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About the Author

Jamesetta (Jamie) A. Newland
Jamesetta (Jamie) A. Newland is a Clinical Associate Professor at New York University College of Nursing where she is the director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. She is also a certified Family Nurse Practitioner in the NYU Nursing Faculty Practice. Her expertise on nurse practitioner education and practice has been sought nationally and internationally. She is the current editor-in-chief of The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Healthcare, the inaugural journal publication for nurse practitioners.