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ANA News, September 2019


American Academy of Nursing supports congressional efforts to address maternal mortality

American Academy of Nursing (Academy) President-Elect EileenSullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, spoke at the U.S. House of Representatives Black Maternal Health Caucus’s Stakeholder Summit on black maternal care
along with other national policy and advocacy organizations in July. The Academy pledges its continued commitment to addressing the causes, consequences, and solutions to combat two prominent issues related to maternal and infant health (MIH): increased rates of maternal mortality and morbidity and preterm births (PTBs) within the United States, especially among African American mothers.

The Black Maternal Health Caucus, co-chaired by Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL), was launched in the spring to improve black maternal health outcomes. Even as advancements are made in MIH, the United States lags behind other developed countries on these important maternal and infant health issues. Maternal mortality rates have doubled since the 1990s and despite a steady decline from 2007 to 2014, PTBs peaked at 9.93% in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics Brief, and National Vital Statistics Report (tinyurl.com/y4upelfo). Racial disparities within MIH are significant as African American women are 3.2 times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than white women, and re- search shows that impoverished, marginalized, and under- represented women are most vulnerable to PTBs.

Recent efforts to improve MIH and to address the health and racial disparities in this area remain insufficient. The Acad- emy stands with the Black Maternal Health Caucus in its mission to raise aware- ness within Congress and establish effective, evidence-based, culturally sensitive health policies to improve health outcomes for African American mothers.

“The Academy was honored to be present and share recommendations at the Black Maternal Health Stake- holder Summit,” said Academy President Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN. “As a nation, we owe mothers access to equitable care. The Academy is committed to working toward this necessary and achievable goal.”

Read Cox’s President’s Message, “Global maternal mortality rate declines—Except in America,” along with the policy briefs “Reducing Preterm Births in the United States” and “African-American Mothers’ Persistent Excessive Maternal Death Rates” at nursing-outlook.org.


Nursing home nurses lack time, resources for complete care

For years, extensive evidence from hospitals has shown that nurses are more likely to leave necessary patient care unfinished when employed in settings with insufficient staff and resources. This “missed care” has been linked to poor care quality, increased adverse events, and decreased satisfaction with the health system. New research from Penn Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) finds similar evidence in nursing homes and identifies the strong relationship be- tween missed care, nurse burnout, and job dissatisfaction.

The CHOPR team used data from 540 nursing homes in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to examine the relationship between job burnout, dissatisfaction, and incidence of missed care report- ed by RNs. The results are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

In the study, led by Elizabeth White, PhD; Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN; and Matthew McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, CRNP, FAAN (Aiken and McHugh are Pennsylvania State Nurses Association members), researchers found that 72% of RNs reported missing one or more necessary care tasks on their last shift due to lack of time or resources. One in five RNs re- ported frequently being unable to complete necessary patient care. The activities most often skipped include comforting patients, talking with them, performing adequate patient surveillance, teaching patients and families, and developing care plans.

Missed care was significantly more common among nursing home RNs who were dissatisfied with their jobs or experiencing burnout.

Read more at Penn Nursing News

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