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  1. Tom Smith

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    This journal scan is based on an electronic search of clinical and organisational databases. The abstracts are from papers and articles published in the period between June and August 2001. As a complex organisational sector, health care attracts the interest of a wide range of disciplines and hundreds of non-clinical journals publish articles associated with health and quality. The following abstracts offer a mixture of clinical and other insights. For example, marketing specialists explore the reactions of a key target group to health messages aimed at them and an economist writes on the motivations of nurses. The interest of other disciplines in quality provides a wide source of information; the aim of these pages is to provide a taster of what is being written about and read by people interested in the quality of health care.

    Nurse recruitment and retention

    Several articles in the USA and UK this quarter are concerned with the shortage of nurses and the impact on healthcare quality.

    Nursing shortage puts patients at risk and creates liability problems. Healthcare Risk Management 2001;23:61–7.

    Nurse shortages have far reaching implications for quality of health care. Nurses working in US hospitals suffer stress from the problems in their work associated with the shortage. Research shows that a significant percentage of nurses are planning to leave their career. The article is a discussion of the factors that may influence the decision of nurses to stay in the field. This is a major issue for hospital employers concerned at the knock on effects for the quality of nursing services as a whole and of potential liability issues related to staffing shortages.

    HHS awards $27.4 million to address emerging nursing shortage. Press Release. US Department of Health and Human Services, 28 September 2001.

    HHS Secretary Tommy G Thompson announced more than $27.4 million to increase the number of qualified nurses and the quality of nursing services across the country. The awards will help to ease the emerging shortage of qualified nurses available to provide essential healthcare services in many communities nationwide. …

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