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U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO)

Higher Education: Education Could Improve Information on Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

On May 29, the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled Higher Education: Education Could Improve Information on Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. With more students with disabilities pursuing college than in years past, the GAO was asked to review issues regarding accessibility and accommodations for this student population. This report examines (1) trends in and characteristics of the population of college students with disabilities; (2) any challenges to accessing education that students with disabilities face in college and how colleges have mitigated them, and (3) the extent to which the U.S. Department of Education helps mitigate these challenges.

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The Daily Nurse

Survey Paints Enrollment Picture

On June 3, 2024, writer Louis Pilla with The Daily Nurse, a blog produced by Springer Publishing, contributed a new article titled Survey Paints Enrollment Picture. The author highlights findings from AACN’s 2023 annual survey of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. The article features insights from Dr. Jean Giddens, chair of the AACN Board of Directors and dean of the University of Kansas School of Nursing, on enrollment trends by program level, including decreases in PhD and RN-to-BSN programs. Dr. Giddens also commented on ongoing challenges related to finding faculty and securing clinical learning sites.

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National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Fraud Detection Guidance for Employers and Educators

On May 22, 2024, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) released a statement titled Fraud Detection Guidance for Employers and Educators to provide direction on how to detect individuals using fake credentials to enroll in a nursing program, apply for a license, or obtain employment. “Fraud in nursing is a serious health concern posing a threat to patients and eroding their confidence in the profession. This statement is designed to increase awareness and help implement methods of fraud detection and prevention,” said NCSBN’s Dr. Nancy Spector. The statement offers 10 recommendations to strengthen fraud detection processes that may already be in place at your institution.

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American Council on Education

Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: 2024 Status Report

On May 21, 2024, the American Council on Education released its Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: 2024 Status Report, which presents 201 indicators drawn from eight data sources, including the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Census Bureau. The data show that though student diversity in undergraduate programs has increased over the last 20 years, degree attainment levels have not kept pace. The authors also provide a snapshot of faculty and staff diversity by race and ethnicity. This report helps to advance the national dialogue on how higher education can close persistent racial equity gaps.

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Journal of Professional Nursing

Transitioning from a Doctor of Nursing Practice Clinical Role to Academic Scholar

In the March/April 2024 Journal of Professional Nursing, Dr. Danielle Hebert and Dr. Shari Harding from the school of nursing at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, explore Transitioning from a Doctor of Nursing Practice Clinical Role to Academic Scholar. As the number of DNP-prepared faculty increases, support for the successful transition to academia, including scholarly productivity, is essential to retention, especially as nurse faculty shortages persist. The authors call for more resources and mentoring to help DNP-prepared nurses thrive in a teaching role, including support for developing and disseminating scholarship and meeting the requirements of promotion.

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The Nurse Practitioner

The DNP Project: Two Decades of Impact

In the April 2024 issue of The Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Sheila Melander and colleagues from the University of Kentucky consider The DNP Project: Two Decades of Impact. Designed to improve quality outcomes and effect practice change, DNP Projects hold great promise for long-term professional value. The authors explain how the DNP Project, which represents the culmination of DNP education, can be integrated throughout the curriculum to maximize effectiveness and promote the introduction, reinforcement, and evaluation of competencies and sub-competencies in the 2021 AACN Essentials.

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Nursing Research

Research and Policy

In the May/June 2024 issue of Nursing Research, journal editor Rita Pickler contributed an editorial exploring the connections between Research and Policy. The author considers the importance of using rigorous research to shape health policy and underscores the responsibility scientists have in translating research findings to educate the public and policy makers. Dr. Pickler concludes that “our hope is that nursing scientists continue to expand their interest in policy development, using published evidence to support their efforts to improve health for all.”

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Journal of Professional Nursing

A Stepwise Approach to Integrating the New Essentials into a Master's Entry Nursing Curriculum

In the May/June 2024 Journal of Professional Nursing, Dr. Heidi Johnston and colleagues from Linfield College published A Stepwise Approach to Integrating the New Essentials into a Master's Entry Nursing Curriculum. The authors describe their efforts to launch Oregon’s first Master’s Entry into Professional Nursing Program (MEPN), aligned with AACN’s 2021 Essentials. The article outlines efforts to collect input from the program’s community of interest, engage in a curriculum development process, develop clinical experiences across the four spheres of care, and evaluate program success. Challenges associated with launching this new program and meeting competency expectations are noted.

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Journal of Professional Nursing

Professional Identity in Nursing: Why It Is Important in Graduate Education

In the May/June 2024 Journal of Professional Nursing, Dr. Brenda Douglass from Johns Hopkins University and colleagues explore Professional Identity in Nursing: Why It Is Important in Graduate Education. Possessing a clear identity in nursing is a guiding principle to professional comportment. In graduate nursing education, transitioning and expanding one's professional identity requires role evolution. This article illustrates how faculty educate graduate nursing students on developing professional identity using a conceptual framework to achieve competencies outlined in the 2021 AACN Essentials.

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Creative Nursing

Advancing Health Equity Through Artificial Intelligence: An Educational Framework for Preparing Nurses in Clinical Practice and Research.

Published in the May 2024 issue of Creative Nursing, Dr. Michael Cary and colleagues from Duke University explore Advancing Health Equity Through Artificial Intelligence: An Educational Framework for Preparing Nurses in Clinical Practice and Research. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into health care offers the potential to enhance patient care, improve diagnostic precision, and broaden access to health care. This article proposes a framework for nurses which includes AI principles, skills, competencies, and curriculum development focused on the practical use of AI to help achieve health equity. AACN’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Dr. Brigit Carter, co-authored this piece.

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Nursing Outlook

Nurse Practitioners’ Degrees and Associations with Time Use, Functional Autonomy, and Job Outcomes

In the July-August 2024 issue of Nursing Outlook, Dr. Alex Hoyt from the MGH Institute of Health Professions and colleagues explored Nurse Practitioners’ Degrees and Associations with Time Use, Functional Autonomy, and Job Outcomes. Though the Doctor of Nursing Practice is recommended for entry into NP practice, few comparative studies have assessed practice differences among NPs with and without a doctorate. The authors found that differences in NP educational pathways are associated with distinct practice roles. DNP-prepared NPs enjoyed higher levels of functional autonomy and were more likely to focus on teaching and administration than master’s-prepared NPs.

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Medical Care

There’s No Substitute for Adequate Registered Nurse Staffing

On May 21, 2024, in the journal Medical Care, Dr. Patricia Patrician and Dr. Tracey Dick from the University of Alabama at Birmingham published an editorial titled There’s No Substitute for Adequate Registered Nurse Staffing. The article underscores the strong connection between supporting team nursing models and quality patient care. The authors conclude that “the increased complexity of inpatients combined with the high chance of adverse events and the empirical evidence suggesting better care with more RNs should give pause to those considering models of care that replace RNs with less skilled caregivers.”

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Journal of Nursing Education

Using Rapid Mini-Simulations as a Strategy to Increase Competency-Based Education

In the May 2024 Journal of Nursing Education, Dr. Bonnie Jones-Hepler, Dr. Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler, and Dr. Stephanie Gedzyk-Nieman from Duke University explore Using Rapid Mini-Simulations as a Strategy to Increase Competency-Based Education. With three examples focused on maternity care, the authors illustrate how mini-simulations can be used to develop clinical judgement skills in students in accelerated baccalaureate programs. The authors show how the frequent application of mini-simulations can be incorporated into CBE as a formative evaluation method to foster clinical reasoning in nursing graduates.

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Nurse Educator

Strategies to Incorporate Artificial Intelligence in Nursing Education

In the May/June 2024 issue of Nurse Educator, Dr. Cynthia Foronda and Dr. Andrew Porter from the University of Miami consider Strategies to Incorporate Artificial Intelligence in Nursing Education. AI is mainstream within health care and accessible to virtually every nursing student. The authors argue that students should be educated about the pros and cons of AI to keep them informed about the current climate and help them determine appropriate circumstances for its application. The article describes strategies for the use of AI in nursing education, including guidelines on its ethical use.

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Journal of Professional Nursing

Roadmap for Integrating the AACN Essentials with Perioperative Nursing

In the July/August 2024 Journal of Professional Nursing, Dr. Rebecca Vortman from the University of Illinois Chicago and colleagues published a Roadmap for Integrating the AACN Essentials with Perioperative Nursing. With a focus on prelicensure nursing programs, the authors outline steps faculty can take to enhance content and clinical learning experiences focused on perioperative nursing using a competency-based approach to education. Exemplars aligned with all 10 domains of nursing practice in the 2021 AACN Essentials are included and illustrate pathways for student learning from the beginning level to competent.

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Nurse Educator

Promoting Nursing Student Mental Health Wellness: The Impact of Resilience-Building and Faculty Support

In the May/June 2024 issue of Nurse Educator, Dr. Catherine Stubin from Rutgers University School of Nursing-Camden and colleagues published a new article titled Promoting Nursing Student Mental Health Wellness: The Impact of Resilience-Building and Faculty Support. The article explores the relationships between faculty support, student resilience, and the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among 989 baccalaureate nursing students from across the United States. Resilience strategies and supportive faculty behaviors predicted lower depression, anxiety, and stress in students.

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Journal of Nursing Administration

Reducing the Innovation Knowledge Gap by Developing Innovativeness Across Academia and Practice for Healthcare Progress Scale

In the May 2024 Journal of Nursing Administration, M. Lindell Joseph from the University of Iowa and colleagues published a new article on Reducing the Innovation Knowledge Gap by Developing Innovativeness Across Academia and Practice for Healthcare Progress Scale. Academic-practice partnerships are a catalyst for transformation, yet limited theoretically grounded evidence exists to provide strategic direction on how to maximize partnership capacity and the potential for innovation. Using data from 5 academic-practice sites across the U.S., researchers outline their work to develop and validate a scale to measure conditions that enable healthcare innovation.

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JAMA Open Network

Top Factors in Nurses Ending Health Care Employment Between 2018 and 2021

Published on April 9, 2024, in JAMA Open Network, Dr. K. Jane Muir from the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues examine Top Factors in Nurses Ending Health Care Employment Between 2018 and 2021. In a cross-sectional study of 7,887 nurses who were employed in a non–healthcare job, not currently employed, or retired, the top contributing factors for leaving healthcare employment were planned retirement (39% of nurses), burnout (26%), insufficient staffing (21%), and family obligations (18%). To improve retention, the authors call on employers to focus on reducing burnout, improving nurse staffing levels, and supporting nurses’ work-life balance.

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