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Advanced practice nurses gain new rights in Minnesota

Mary Chesney, Ph.D., R.N., director of the University of Minnesota Doctor of Nursing Practice Program displays her new license.

This month in Minnesota, advanced practice nurses gained new authority to practice. State requirements mandating a collaborative practice agreement between a physician and an advanced practice nurse are no longer required for nurses who meet the state’s new licensing and certification standards. The changes could benefit both metro-area and rural Minnesota communities by increasing access to the expertise of advanced practice nurses and opportunities to visit nurse-led primary care clinics.

The changes come as primary care access across Minnesota enters a critical stage, with a shortage of as many as 850 primary care physicians expected within the next ten years, according to the Minnesota Hospital Association.

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news-and-notes

Searching for ways to eliminate invasive rats, without adding new threats to island ecosystems

A black rat sits upright on the ground. Etching by W. S. Howitt.

Invasive rodents are a problem for oceanic islands throughout the world. Rats transported by sea-faring humans from landmass to landmass plague ecosystems off the coast of Australia and in the Hawaiian and Galápagos Islands. Rats can endanger native species, damage agriculture crops and even prevent trees from re-growing. Efforts to remove the invasive species, however, sometimes result in their own unintended consequences.

“You can’t just remove 70 percent or 90 percent,” said Julia Ponder, D.V.M., executive director of The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. “You have to remove 100 percent of the invasive species, and that’s what makes it so hard. There’s no margin of error and eradication efforts are expensive.”

Eradication efforts can put other species such as birds at risk, too.

That’s why Ponder became involved in research recently published in the journal Biological Conservation.

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news-and-notes

The Raptor Center advises against duck hunting with falcons in Pacific Northwest

Northern pintail image by Brendan Lally/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/4yqE26

The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota is adding to the understanding of avian influenza, or bird flu, in the Pacific Northwest. The center recently advised an extended cessation from waterfowl hunting by falconers through the end of the hunting season, which comes to a close mid-January.

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in-the-news

In the News: Generic drug prices soar

Photo: David Goehring/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/7FDNYM

High-priced prescription drugs are not unfamiliar to the American consumer.

But generic drugs – widely accepted as the cheaper alternative to big brand names – are making their own name in high pricing as of late.

Generic drug prices on some commonly prescribed medications have risen by as much as 500 percent over the past year.

University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy pharmaceutical economist Stephen Schondelmeyer, Pharm.D., Ph.D., spoke with WCCO Radio’s Chad Hartmann about the rising cost trend and what it could mean for consumers.

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beyond-minnesota

In the News: U students map Fish Town, Liberia, contribute to Ebola relief efforts

With Ebola and infectious disease response at the top of mind, University of Minnesota students and professors are evaluating what students can learn from and contribute to the west African pandemic response.

A group of juniors in the University of Minnesota’s bachelor of science in nursing program, for one, is creating maps of previously uncharted areas of Guinea and southern Liberia. Their contribution to crowd-sourced mapping tool, OpenStreetMap, is an example of a small – but vital – effort in responding to public health crises like Ebola.

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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: Sharable, comparable nurse data lacking in electronic health records

Photo: Public Domain

Sharable, comparable nurse data is lacking in the nation’s electronic health records, according to Bonnie Westra, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor and director of the Center for Nursing Informatics at the University of Minnesota.

But it’s not for lack of nurses entering patient health information into the record. There’s arguably, in fact, too much patient data being entered.

“What we’re faced with is a challenge of how do we better streamline data, standardize terms used, and standardize documentation to better reuse the data coming in?” said Westra.

In other words, usability of the data has room to grow.

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