AJN in February: Improving CKD Outcomes, Nurses and Patient Safety, Moral Distress, More

The February issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.

CE Feature: Improving Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: Part 1

The burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is rising both in this country and worldwide. An estimated 10% to 15% of U.S. adults are currently living with CKD. The greatest opportunities to reduce the impact of CKD arise early, when most patients are being followed in primary care; yet many clinicians are inadequately educated on this disease. This two-part article aims to provide nurses with the basic information necessary to assess and manage patients with CKD. This month, part 1 offers an overview of the disease, describes identification and etiology, and discusses ways to slow disease progression. Part 2, which will appear next month, addresses disease complications and treatment of kidney failure.

CE Feature: “Nursing’s Evolving Role in Patient Safety

In its 1999 report To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, the Institute of Medicine suggested that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die annually as a result of medical errors. The report urged health care institutions to break the silence surrounding such errors and to implement changes that would promote a […]

January 30th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

A Public Health Nurse at the Intersection of Birth and Death

by Lisa Dietrich for AJN/ all rights reserved

The January Reflections essay in AJN is called “Touching Death, Touching Life.” The author, Yaffa Vinikoor, is a public health nurse who describes a patient she refers to as Sidney. Over time, she’s come to know the worn furniture of Sidney’s small apartment and the details of his life, such as Arnold, his paid caretaker, and Sidney’s younger wife, who lives separately. Sid has dementia and several other conditions and is in decline. “Sid,” she writes “usually lay slanted, like he’d been haphazardly dropped onto the enormous mattress, hair askew and face contorted.”

The essay explores what it’s like to be pregnant while doing such work. Vinikoor’s situation that summer puts her in relation to two very different currents:

I continued to do my work in the city as a public health nurse with the chronically ill homebound up until the day I went into labor. . . . I continued to walk miles per day, the nursing supplies in my backpack bowing my back and the baby in my belly guiding me forward . . . . As I cared for those whose lives were in steady decline, I thought about what giving birth to new life would be like.


January 27th, 2017|Nursing, nursing stories, Public health|2 Comments

School Recess as a Matter of Public Health

A friend who teaches first grade finds her principal’s recess policy maddening. The children are allowed almost no recess, and some teachers have resorted to “sneaking” their classes outside when the principal is off-site. “The children have no rights,” my friend says. She adds that when they haven’t been able to run and play, “teaching is a waste” because the kids can’t focus.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of daily physical activity for children and adolescents, and the American Academy of Pediatrics describes recess as “crucial.” Yet many schools continue to prioritize academics over physical health. In this month’s AJN Reports, author Carol Potera explores the connection between the decline in physical activity in schools and the increase in childhood obesity and describes the ways in which some schools are trying to reverse these trends. […]

January 25th, 2017|Nursing, Public health|2 Comments

This is What Democracy Looks Like, Nurses Included

Photos by Karen Roush.

“Nursing leaders have called upon all nurses to be heard, from bedside to boardroom and beyond. Not all of us share the same political views, and that is how it should be.”

By Karen Roush, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, and founder of the Scholar’s Voice, which works to strengthen the voice of nursing through writing mentorship for nurses.

On Saturday, I marched with over a million others in Washington, D.C., to protest the policies and rhetoric of the incoming Trump administration, along with millions more who marched in sister protests throughout the world. It was a day marked by exhilarating solidarity, determination, and hopefulness.

People of every age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation—all the ways you can try to divide people—stood together. Many carried signs and banners: some funny or clever plays on words, many serious messages of inclusiveness or demands for rights and action. Throughout the day strangers exchanged smiles and nods, silently saying to each other yes, look what we’re a part […]

January 24th, 2017|Nursing|1 Comment

Top Nursing, Policy, Clinical Stories of 2016

Crowd members hold candles during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Photo © Associated Press

Late last year, we asked our editorial board members and contributing editors to tell us what they thought were the most important health news stories of 2016. In our January article “The Year in Review 2016,” we take a closer look at three of their most-mentioned topics: the Affordable Care Act (ACA), opioid misuse, and Zika virus.

What other issues stood out last year in specific areas of health care? We compiled top news story roundups for several categories—here’s an overview (click the links below to read the full articles):

Health Care Policy

  • Gun violence
  • Access to care: LGBT health, migrants, mental health care, medication costs, rural health care


  • Workplace stress: 12-hour shifts, EHRs, evidence-based practice, staffing
  • Nursing education: increased access, faculty shortage, expanded simulation, improved employment prospects
  • Care delivery barriers: care for veterans, nurses’ practice authority

Clinical News

  • Sepsis awareness
  • Maternal mortality
  • Patient engagement
  • Population health trends

Finally, see “Stories to Watch in 2017” for a discussion of a few health topics, aside from the fate of the ACA, that we expect to hear more about this year.

January 23rd, 2017|Nursing, Public health|0 Comments