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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

CT to join national nurses' compact; other workforce solutions sought

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Thursday, May 16, 2024   

Connecticut is slated to join a national nursing compact.

House Bill 5058 got the General Assembly's approval and awaits Gov. Ned Lamont's signature. The legislation allows Connecticut nurses to get a license permitting them to work in other compact participating states.

Cassandra Esposito, president of the Connecticut Nurses Association, said while it can attract nurses to work in the state, it does not alleviate workforce issues nurses face.

"It has to do with working conditions," Esposito explained. "We look at staffing, we look at workplace violence, we look at ways that nurses do their job, and the things that are making them a little bit harder to do their jobs."

Legislation established better nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and implemented better hospital security. The Connecticut Nurses Association pushed to resolve some issues, ensuring the compact was right for the state.

Lawmakers worked to address impacts to programs like HAVEN with an amendment that also develops a working group supporting compact implementation and addressing any unintended consequences. After three years, the working group will evaluate the efficacy of the compact on Connecticut.

Nationwide workforce shortages are not the only thing straining nurses. Burnout and mental health issues only aggravated by the pandemic are causing people to leave the field. Esposito argued barriers to nurses seeking help must be removed so the workforce thrives.

"Provide them with options," Esposito emphasized. "If your health care workers aren't well, the health care workers themselves suffer. The workforce itself suffers, patients, health care delivery as a whole suffers, so we really need to do more to take care of the mental health of our nurses."

Among respondents to an American Nurses Foundation survey, 64% said they feel stressed because of their job. Stress and other factors led to the national turnover average of nurses being as high as 37%, depending on location and specialty.


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