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As 2014 comes to a close, the International Transplant Nurses Society would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the ITNS Insider a look at the most accessed exclusive content articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume next Thursday, Jan. 8.


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World's smallest liver-kidney transplant saves toddler's life
By Lynn Hetzler
From Oct. 23: Aspen Erickson was only 2 months old when doctors diagnosed her with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Her parents watched helplessly as their little girl experienced seizures and weight loss. To have a chance at a normal life, Erickson would need a combined liver-kidney transplant. At 16 months old, Erickson received her transplant in a six-hour procedure at University of Utah Health Care. At the time of the procedure, the physicians did not realize Erickson would be the youngest person ever to undergo the procedure.
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Nurses: Burning out or burning bright
By Keith Carlson
From June 12: The words "burnout" and "nursing" are all too often mentioned in the same breath. If you talk to enough nurses, you'll hear plenty of stories of burnout that could make your hair stand on end. Sadly, many nurses feel that burnout is unavoidable, while others take a proactive stance against this condition that impacts our profession so deeply. As dedicated, hard-working caregivers, we must live with the potential for burnout, but the potential for healthy living is a parallel reality that is also within our grasp.
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Study: Children who undergo heart transplants are living longer
By Trina McMillin
From Feb. 13: A heart transplant can be especially challenging for children, but young heart transplant patients are living longer lives. A recent study shows that lifelong monitoring and medications help these young recipients of organ donor hearts maintain good heart function, which improves the quality of their lives. The research indicates that more than 50 percent of children who received heart transplantation at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California from 1985 to 1998 are surviving many years.
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Does social media have a place in healthcare?
By Joan Spitrey
From June 19: Just like many of you, I have been on the Facebook bandwagon for quite some time. I have really enjoyed it as I have lived all over the country, and it has been a great way to keep up with old friends. But does it have a place in a healthcare career or profession? As I have extended my reach into the big, wide Web, I have come to realize there are a lot of outlets for sharing and getting information. However, just like anything in life, there are certainly pros and cons to these new-found resources.
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What exactly is the job outlook for nurses?
By Keith Carlson
From Jan. 30: As 2014 begins, there is a great deal of discussion regarding the job prospects for nurses, especially those just entering the profession. With confusing opinions and projections about the reality of a nursing shortage in the United States, nursing students and recent graduates are understandably concerned. According to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in jobs for nurses is expected to increase 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, a rate of growth that apparently outpaces all other occupations. But several other factors must be taken into account as well.
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New strategy aims to reduce transplant rejection
By Sharee Ann Narciso
From March 27: UC San Francisco researchers have recently developed a two-pronged approach to the problem of organ transplantation rejections seen in recipients. The strategy aims to weaken specific immune responses that affect transplanted tissue. The results in controlled mouse experiments have shown promise so far: 70 percent of the mice did not reject the transplants without using any long-term immunosuppressive treatment. The goal of the strategy is to spare patients from having to undergo lifelong immunosuppression and to help treat Type 1 diabetes and similar autoimmune diseases.
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A need for RNs: Heading off the nursing shortage
By Dorothy L. Tengler
From Nov. 20: Despite the chatter about a nursing shortage, registered nurses are near the top of the list when it comes to employment growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In the past decade, the average age of employed RNs has increased by nearly two years, from 42.7 years in 2000 to 44.6 years. Although nurses are choosing to continue working rather than retire, the United States will need to produce 1.1 million newly registered nurses by 2022 to fill jobs and replace those who finally do retire.
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The key to improving nurses' employee engagement
By Keith Carlson
From April 10: Employee engagement is a buzzword that gets a fair amount of attention these days, and savvy nurse managers and executives would be wise to give this notion its due. According to a study by Gallup, hospital nurses rank significantly below other professionals in terms of employee engagement, thus these findings confirm the fact that engaging nurse employees should be an important aspect of the healthcare management landscape.
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Nurse management: Open source or old school?
By Keith Carlson
From Oct. 16: Healthcare is a hierarchical culture, and probably for good reason. That hierarchy creates a structure that allows for appropriate supervision and division of labor, perhaps similar to the command structures of the military. Just like any industry, there are "old school" and "new school" approaches to nurse management. In the 21st century, many managers still cling to old ways of thinking that are, to a great extent, based on top-down, hierarchical corporate structures steeped in 20th-century patriarchal culture. Nursing has a chance to break that pattern.
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