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News, Studies and Information Affecting Nurses, Feb. 16–March 22

By Beth Duggan
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Deadline for the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program

So, you've done it. You finished nursing school. Now there's just one thing looming over your head: loans. There's hope, however, for RNs working at eligible nonprofit facilities: The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program.

This selective program run by the U.S. government began as a way to help alleviate the shortage of registered nurses in certain types of nonprofit health care facilities, and here's how it works. In exchange for two years of service, RNs not only get the normal salary and benefits that accompany their job, but participants in the program receive 60 percent of their total qualifying nursing education loan balance. And, for an optional third year, participants can receive 25 percent of their original total balance.

To qualify, you must be a registered nurse who has completed training, is licensed and works full time (at least 32 hours per week) at an eligible nonprofit (see list below). You must also be a U.S. citizen or National and Lawful Permanent Resident, and your education has to have been obtained from an accredited school of nursing in the U.S.

Go to http://hrsa.gov/loanscholarships and click on "Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program" to learn more and see if you might qualify. But act fast; applications are due by 2:30pm on March 4!

 

UCLA Teams Up With Health Net to Intervene in Adolescent Education

On Feb. 10, the UCLA School of Public Health announced its partnership with Health Net of California to use social media to educate 13- to 17-year-olds on how to more effectively utilize their health care and decrease their number of emergency room visits.

Funded by a $1.1 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the two-year project will will target Medi-Cal and Healthy Families beneficiaries whose plans come from Health Net of California, and it will assess the impact of traditional and newer social media interventions on utilization patterns, health literacy, preventive health care interactions with primary care providers, adoptions of preventive health practices, health information-seeking and attitudes toward health care.

"Over 90 percent of teens today use social networking sites, not just to interact with their peers but also to get information about issues that are important to them," said Michael Prelip, a professor of community health sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health and one of the principal investigators of the project. "This intervention will provide important clues about the effectiveness of social media in influencing adolescents' understanding of their health care rights, responsibilities and benefits so that they can become good health care consumers."

 

Adult Day Health Centers Face Cuts

According to a story published by California Healthline, in an ongoing effort to find a balance for the state budget, Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed eliminating Medi-Cal reimbursements to adult day health providers, which would cut approximately $134 million  from the current deficit.

If the notion passes, 37,000 low-income Californians would be left without access to daytime programs and care as most of California’s 327 licensed adult day health centers would likely close.

These centers provide comprehensive services to a mostly elderly population, such as physical, speech and social therapies as well as skilled nursing services.

Health advocates contend that if these services are no longer available, the state will end up spending more money in the long run since those affected would likely end up as inpatients or need at-home care.   

Beth Duggan is the editor of Working Nurse.  

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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