NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog offers informed commentary on the latest news in rural health care from NRHA staff and editorials from selected contributors.

NRHA staff accepted for Obama Foundation Leaders USA Program

NRHA is proud to announce that Zil Joyce Dixon Romero, NRHA program services manager, is among the first cohort of 100 emerging changemakers selected to participate in the Obama Foundation’s Leaders USA Program. The six-month virtual program supports and connects emerging leaders in the United States for the first time, joining past cohorts from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe through a values-based leadership framework inspired by the ideals and legacy of President and Mrs. Obama.

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3 considerations when transitioning new graduate nurses to rural practice

Transitioning new graduate nurses (NGNs) from school to the clinical environment has been a longstanding challenge, particularly in rural health care organizations. Although leaders in academia and practice share the same goal of ensuring new nurses are prepared to meet the demands of the constantly evolving health care landscape, they often have different points of view on practice readiness. While much of the focus has been on preparing graduates, we must remember that practice leaders...

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Workforce development after COVID-19

COVID-19 has provided many lessons for the nation’s rural hospitals, including that leadership and the right skills for the tasks at hand are key to navigating difficult times. Recognizing that an educated workforce is essential, many rural hospitals are looking for ways to transform traditional approaches to workforce development. They want cost-effective programs that equip staff to meet real-world challenges and provide measurable results.

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NRHA co-hosts 2020 Rural Health Disparities Summit

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and American Heart Association (AHA) have united to find solutions to growing health disparities between rural and urban Americans during the third annual Rural Health Disparities Summit. This year’s summit will focus on disparities within rural communities among minority populations. The summit will be held Thursday, Feb. 13 from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Hilton Washington, D.C., National Mall...

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Dear rural hospitals: Where are your nurses?

Rural communities are struggling to retain qualified staff nurses. Are you limping by with travel nurses and understaffed units? Are your communities suffering like many other rural towns throughout the nation? You are not alone. Will you continue to swirl in the shortage whirlpool or speak up for better outcomes? Learn what you can do to lead the way in reducing the nursing shortage.

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How CMEs can qualify as MIPS improvement activities

Did you know that if you participate in CME activities, you could already be on your way to satisfying your Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requirement? Because MIPS falls under the Quality Payment Program, CME can count towards your MIPS requirement if the activities are designed and executed in alignment with the QPP guidance. 91% of clinicians participated in MIPS in QPP’s first year. You could already be eligible to use CME to meet your MIPS requirements.

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6 ways to maximize your time at NRHA’s clinic, CAH events

In less than two weeks, NRHA will host not one, but two conferences in a city brimming with inspiration: the 2018 Rural Health Clinic Conference and Critical Access Hospital Conference are happening Sept. 25-28 in Kansas City, Mo., a gem of the Midwest where ideas flow in happening places. Whether you’re planning to attend both conferences or just one, here are some strategies to maximize your time at NRHA’s fastest-growing events and get the most out of your visit to Kansas City.

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From Refugee to Registered Nurse

Dawit Gebrezghi fled his native country of Eritrea to avoid being forced into military servitude. After living in a refugee camp, he made his way to the U.S. and began working. After overcoming incredible obstacles, Gebrezghi is now celebrating his graduation from Nightingale College as a nurse, and plans to return to the refugee camp to serve as a nurse. “Patients don’t just need medication,” said Gebrezghi. “They need kindness. They need hope.”

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Boom or Bust? Local nursing education in rural communities proving helpful in battling the nursing shortage

Across the country, the supply of nurses in rural hospitals is getting dangerously thin. Many don’t have enough staff to run their hospital, and their patients have nowhere else to turn. But for one hospital in the mountains of rural Utah, the supply of nurses provided by Nightingale College’s distance education model is critical for weathering the storms of the highly-unstable oil-based economy.  

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Senator Tester Introduces Restoring Rural Residencies Act

The National Rural Health Association applauds Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for introducing S. 455, the Restoring Rural Residencies Act. This important bill will fix an unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act by defining Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) as “non-provider settings” solely for the purposes of Medicare reimbursements for graduate medical education. This will allow Medicare to reimburse residency programs for the time residents spend at CAHs. 

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