Latest California Healthline Stories
School districts in California and around the country face a long-standing shortage of nurses, mostly because of tight budgets. But some districts are finding creative ways to reduce the problem.
ICU nurse Julayne Smithson had only a few minutes to grab some things from her recently purchased home a block from the Santa Rosa hospital. Then she rushed back to help evacuate patients and has scarcely stopped working since.
The California Nurses Association, representing some 100,000 registered nurses, is regarded statewide and nationally as a progressive political powerhouse. “Politicians are afraid” of the activists they turn out, said one critic.
Armed with strict guidelines and motivated by sheer urgency, a specialized team of nurses makes the rounds, seeking to thwart the No. 1 killer in U.S. hospitals.
Nitrous oxide for laboring women was popular in the U.S. until the mid-20th century when it went out of favor when birth became more medicalized. Now, midwives are putting it back on the “menu” of pain relief options for childbirth.
Registered nurses in the state earn an average annual salary of $100,000, compared to a national average of $71,000.
The new director of the agency has ramped up efforts to break the logjam, and he says they are bearing fruit.
A big backlog of applications at the state’s licensing board is holding up hiring by hospitals and making it difficult for recent nurse graduates — and experienced nurses from out of state — to work.
Physicians remain opposed to removing supervision
A new national pediatric guideline proposes that every school have a nurse on staff. In California, 57 percent of school districts do not employ nurses.