February 2004, Volume 34 Number 2 , p 34 - 34 [FREE]




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    In a study led by noted nursing researcher Peter Buerhaus, researchers examined indicators that the nursing shortage may be ending. For example, hospitals hired 104,000 new nurses in 2002, seemingly an encouraging sign. But closer examination revealed that two-thirds of the increase in employment came from nurses older than age 50 and the remainder was from foreign-born nurses. In contrast, the number of newly hired nurses younger than 35 years old decreased by 8% in 2002. What's more, nursing schools turned away more than 5,000 qualified applicants in 2002 because of space constraints and lack of faculty. The bottom line: As older nurses retire, fewer newer nurses are stepping forward to replace them.

    The current nursing shortage began in 1998. According to projections, the United States will be 500,000 nurses short by 2015.

    Researchers used data from Census Bureau employment surveys to analyze trends in the number of employed ...


When specially prepared nurses manage outpatient care of children with mild to moderate asthma, the results are as good as when care is directed by pediatricians, according to a Dutch study.


For 1 year, 74 children (ages 2 to 16 years) with poorly controlled asthma were randomly assigned to care delivered exclusively by either a nurse with expertise in asthma management or a pediatrician. At the end of the 1-year study period, children in both groups had improved considerably, based on such measures as percentage of symptom-free days, airway hyperresponsiveness, lung function, daily dose of inhaled corticosteroids, functional health status, and quality of life. Researchers found no significant differences in the amount of improvement between the two groups, and all parents were satisfied with the care their children received.


The researchers conclude that nurses with special knowledge about asthma are well qualified to care for children with mild to moderate asthma.



"Outpatient Management of Childhood Asthma by Paediatrician or Asthma Nurse: Randomised Controlled Study with One Year Follow Up," Thorax, A. Kamps, et al., November 2003.