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Research shows lavender helps UMN students catch some quality “Zs”

We’ve all had those nights when catching a good night’s sleep seems impossible. Some rely on sleeping pills to help them sleep, but thanks to a study by University of Minnesota School of Nursing student Angela Lillehei, there may be another option.

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Improving Care for Peripheral Artery Disease in Rural Minnesota

Peripheral artery disease is a chronic condition causing blockages in the arteries that feed the legs. This deprives leg muscles of oxygen and often causes debilitating pain. People with the disease are at greater risk of heart attacks, strokes and amputations. The pain sensation gets worse with walking, which then limits patients’ ability and desire to be active. Approximately 20 percent of Americans over 70 have the disease.

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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: Complaining less could mean cooking more

Looking to boost your attendance at family dinner and keep things healthy at the same time? A new  Washington Post article shows trying to please everyone could be leading to a big boost in unhealthy picks for supper fare.

It’s no secret family meals have big benefits; from healthier weight levels to lower risks of alcohol and drug abuse, study after study cite countless reasons for us to pull up a chair.

A North Carolina State University study of home cooking interviewed 150 mothers and observed 40 of their family dinners. They found that in all the meals observed, most families complained about the food at least once.

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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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