By Diane Szulecki, AJN associate editor

Kelley Johnson by Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr

Nurse and Miss America contestant Kelley Johnson by Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr

With the end of the year steadily approaching, AJN asked its contributing editors, editorial board members, and staff to share what they consider to be the most significant health care and nursing-related headlines of 2015 so far. Now it’s readers’ turn. See the top picks below and feel free to leave a comment to share your thoughts and additions to the list.

Clinical/Care Issues

  • The growing patient experience movement and the limitations of patient satisfaction measurements
  • The rise in chronic diseases due to lack of prevention efforts and unhealthy lifestyles
  • Substance abuse, including alcohol, prescription drugs, heroin
  • Vaccinations and issues regarding public trust of vaccines

Professional Issues

  • Nurses’ responses to critical comments made on The View and related ongoing discussion about the nursing profession’s image
  • Challenges and trends in nursing education: the shift toward advanced practice as a career path for many nurses and rapid growth in the number of DNP programs and applicants
  • Workplace stresses: staffing issues, moral distress, strain caused by an aging population with multiple comorbidities, plus an increase in the number of insured due to the Affordable Care Act

U.S Health Care and Health System Issues

  • Gun violence as a critical public health issue
  • Lack of adequate mental health care
  • Health care used as a political wedge by feuding political parties
  • Issues surrounding access to health care, including health equity and culturally sensitive care

Global Health Issues

  • A doctor at an International Rescue Committee clinic in Ramtha, northern Jordan, conducts a check-up on a young Syrian refugee. by Russell Watkins/Department for International Development via Flickr

    Doctor at International Rescue Committee clinic in Jordan conducts check-up on young Syrian refugee. Russell Watkins/Dept. for International Development/Flickr

    The refugee crisis in Europe due to mass migration from the Middle East

  • The effects of climate change on health: weather-related disasters, increases in vector-borne illnesses (West Nile virus, Lyme disease, Chikungunya, appearance of the yellow fever mosquito in California)
  • Serious communicable diseases like Ebola and MERS-CoV