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Advanced practice nurses gain new rights in Minnesota

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

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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Preventing medical miscommunication means fewer medical errors

For a patient about to undergo surgery, a medical error is just about the last thing someone would want to worry about.

Upwards of 100,000 deaths occur in the United States each year because of medical mistakes. One of the biggest factors contributing to the problem is miscommunication or lack of communication between multiple health care professionals.

To address the problem, University of Minnesota health professional education programs are embracing the age-old mantra of learning to work together in class and competition.

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In the News: Electronics no substitute for conversation at family meals

Cutting down on media time at family meals may provide a leg up on child health, according to new research from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

University of Minnesota researchers found families who allowed frequent device use at the dinner table served less healthful meals and reported lower levels of family communication. Families who established rules limiting electronics use were more likely to report just the opposite: better communication and more nutritious meals.

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U of M School of Nursing receives $3M for Alzheimer’s, exercise research

A $3.04 million study investigating the effects of a six-month aerobic exercise program on memory and brain function in participants with Alzheimer’s disease will be led by Fang Yu, Ph.D., R.N., G.N.P., associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

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