Why the US now pulls fewer nurses from abroad

Source: Christopher James, Futurity, August 2, 2016

A study examining a decade’s worth of data on internationally educated nurses seeking work in the US reveals some striking data to counter the “brain drain” narrative.

In what’s known as nursing “brain drain,” locally educated nurses would go to school but then seek employment in the US, leaving their home country without adequate nursing talent and resources.

Historically, the United States has been a top receiving country of internationally educated nurses (IEN). These nurses had often worked in areas where there were significant nursing shortages. Because of this, the US has been seen internationally as a major global contributor to a phenomenon of talent emigration.

A total of 177 countries were eligible for inclusion in the study, representing findings from 200,453 IEN applicants to the US between 2003 and 2013. Their work found that changes to the NCLEX-RN licensure examination (2008), the global economic crisis of late 2008, and the passing of the World Health Organization’s Code for Ethical Recruitment of Health Workers (2010), all played a part in the significant drop in IEN applicants…..

Exploring longitudinal shifts in international nurse migration to the United States between 2003 and 2013 through a random effects panel data analysis
Source: Allison Squires, Melissa T. Ojemeni, and Simon Jones, Human Resources for Health, Volume 14 Supplement 1, June 30, 2016

No study has examined the longitudinal trends in National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) applicants and pass rates among internationally-educated nurses (IENs) seeking to work in the United States, nor has any analysis explored the impact of specific events on these trends, including changes to the NCLEX-RN exam, the role of the economic crisis, or the passing of the WHO Code on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. This study seeks to understand the impact of the three aforementioned factors that may be influencing current and future IEN recruitment patterns in the United States.

In this random effects panel data analysis, we analyzed 11 years (2003–2013) of annual IEN applicant numbers and pass rates for registered nurse credentialing. Data were obtained from publicly available reports on exam pass rates. With the global economic crisis and NCLEX-RN changes in 2008 coupled with the WHO Code passage in 2010, we sought to compare if (1) the number of applicants changed significantly after those 2 years and (2) if pass rates changed following exam modifications implemented in 2008 and 2011.

A total of 177 countries were eligible for inclusion in this analysis, representing findings from 200,453 IEN applicants to the United States between 2003 and 2013. The majority of applicants were from the Philippines (58 %) and India (11 %), with these two countries combined representing 69 % of the total. Candidates from Sub-Saharan African countries totalled 7133 (3 % of all applications) over the study period, with half of these coming from Nigeria alone. No significant changes were found in the number of candidates following the 2008 economic crisis or the 2010 WHO Code, although pass rates decreased significantly following the 2008 exam modifications and the WHO Code implementation.

This study suggests that, while the WHO Code has had an influence on overall IEN migration dynamics to the United States by decreasing candidate numbers, in most cases, the WHO Code was not the single cause of these fluctuations. Indeed, the impact of the NCLEX-RN exam changes appears to exert a larger influence.

Calculator adds cost of $15 wages to fast-food prices

Source: John Hughey, Futurity, April 8, 2016

A free, online wage impact calculator will allow fast-food restaurants to calculate the price change necessary to maintain profits given an increase in the minimum wage.
Purdue HTM Wage Impact Calculator for Limited Service Restaurants
Source: Purdue University, Hospitality & Tourism Management, 2016

After-hours availability expectations, work-related smartphone use during leisure, and psychological detachment: The moderating role of boundary control

Source: Christin Mellner, International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 9 no. 2, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Modern working life is characterized by increased expectations for employees to be available to deal with work issues outside regular work hours and by using new communication technology. This implies more individual freedom in organizing work in time and space, but also places increased demands on employees to manage the boundaries between work and personal life. This, in turn, can be expected to be crucial to their ability to mentally detach from work during free time. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether individual perceptions of boundary control moderate the impact of after-hours availability expectations and work-related smartphone use during off-work hours on psychological detachment

The study population comprised 2,876 gainfully employed professionals from four large organizations in both the public and private sector, representing various businesses and occupations. Univariate correlations and multiple, linear hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed.

High after-hours availability expectations, high frequency of work-related smartphone use, and low boundary control were associated with poor psychological detachment. Furthermore, boundary control moderated the relationships between both after-hours availability expectations and work-related smartphone use, respectively, and psychological detachment. As such, boundary control mitigated the negative effects of both after-hours availability expectations and work-related smartphone use during leisure on psychological detachment.

Practical implications
Modern work organizations would benefit from introducing availability policies and helping employees reduce their work-related smartphone use outside regular work hours, thus helping them achieve successful boundary control and subsequent psychological detachment.

In a working life characterized by blurred boundaries, employees’ ability to achieve boundary control can be regarded as crucial.

Compensation or Retrenchment? The Paradox of Immigration and Public Welfare Spending in the American States

Source: Ping Xu, State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Early View, Published online before print August 11, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
By using American state-level data from 1999 to 2008, this article explores how the recent immigrant influx has influenced public welfare spending in the American states. By integrating the race/ethnicity and globalization compensation theory, I hypothesize that immigration will increase welfare spending in states with a bleak job market and exclusive state immigrant welfare policy; in contrast, immigration will decrease welfare spending in states with a good job market and inclusive state immigrant welfare policy. Empirical tests show evidence for both hypotheses, suggesting that the applicability of general political science theories depends on a combination of state policy and economic contexts.

Fire Departments, Airports and Military Bases May Be More Toxic to Workers Than You Think

Source: Elizabeth Grossman, In These Times, Working in These Times blog, August 11, 2016

Drinking water supplies for at least six million Americans contain toxic industrial chemicals at levels that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended safety limit. This number is likely an underestimate since the information available through the EPA does not include data for about one-third of Americans—those 100 million or more people who rely on private wells or the vast majority of public water systems that serve communities with populations of 10,000 or less. These are the conclusions of a new study whose authors include scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of California at Berkeley and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

The study “is just showing us the tip of the iceberg,” says author Philippe Grandjean, Harvard T.H. Chan adjunct professor of environmental health and University of Southern Denmark professor of environmental medicine. What also remains largely undocumented is the extent of exposure to workers on the frontline of this chemical use.

While industrial sites were previously recognized as sources of these highly fluorinated, toxic and environmentally-persistent compounds, this is the first nationwide study to document that wastewater treatment plants, along with military bases and airports where these chemicals are used in fire-fighting foams, are also contributing significantly to drinking water contamination. The study reports groundwater and surface water near some of these bases and airports with concentrations of these chemicals 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the EPA’s health advisory level for drinking water….
Detection of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in U.S. Drinking Water Linked to Industrial Sites, Military Fire Training Areas, and Wastewater Treatment Plants
Source: Xindi C. Hu, David Q. Andrews, Andrew B. Lindstrom, Thomas A. Bruton, Laurel A. Schaider, Philippe Grandjean, Rainer Lohmann, Courtney C. Carignan, Arlene Blum, Simona A. Balan, Christopher P. Higgins, and Elsie M. Sunderland, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, August 9, 2016
(subscription required)

Motivational Incongruence and Well-Being at the Workplace: Person-Job Fit, Job Burnout, and Physical Symptoms

Source: Veronika Brandstätter, Veronika Job and Beate Schulze, Frontiers in Psychology, August 11, 2016

From the abstract:
Person–environment fit has been identified as a key prerequisite for employee well-being. We investigated to what extent a misfit between motivational needs and supplies at the workplace affects two key health outcomes: burnout and physical symptoms. Individual needs (implicit affiliation and power motives) and environment supplies (motive specific job characteristics) were assessed in an online survey of full time employees (n = 97), using a picture story exercise measuring implicit motives and a scale listing affiliation and power related job characteristics. Outcomes were assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory and a checklist of physical symptoms. We conducted polynomial regressions with response surface analysis. Results reveal that motivational incongruence with respect to the affiliation motive was related to high job burnout, while motivational incongruence concerning the power motive predicted increased physical symptoms. This was true for both those with a strong affiliation or power motive and low corresponding job characteristics and those with a weak affiliation or power motive and job characteristics demanding the respective motive. Results hint at potential interventions toward preventing or remedying a lack of needs-supply fit and reducing the risk of impairments of well-being.

Exhausted, but Unable to Disconnect: The impact of Email-related Organizational Expectations on Work-family Balance

Source: Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University, William Becker of Virginia Tech and Samantha A. Conroy of Colorado State University, 2016

From the press release:
Earlier this year, France passed a labor reform law that banned checking emails on weekends. New research—to be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management—suggests other countries might do well to follow suit, for the sake of employee health and productivity.

A new study—authored by Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University, William Becker of Virginia Tech and Samantha A. Conroy of Colorado State University—finds a link between organizational after-hours email expectations and emotional exhaustion, which hinders work-family balance. The results suggest that modern workplace technologies may be hurting the very employees that those technologies were designed to help.

Using data collected from 297 working adults, Belkin and her colleagues looked at the role of organizational expectation regarding “off” hour emailing and found it negatively impacts employee emotional states, leading to “burnout” and diminished work-family balance, which is essential for individual health and well-being. The study—described in an article entitled Exhausted, but Unable to Disconnect: The impact of Email-related Organizational Expectations on Work-family Balance—is the first to identify email-related expectations as a job stressor along with already established factors such as high workload, interpersonal conflicts, physical environment or time pressure.

Previous research has shown that in order to restore resources used during the day at work, employees must be able to detach both mentally and physically from work…..

Racial Profiling in Hiring: A Critique of New “Ban the Box” Studies

Source: Maurice Emsellem, Beth Avery, Policy Brief, August 11, 2016

From the summary:
Two recent studies claim that “ban the box” policies enacted around the country detrimentally affect the employment of young men of color who do not have a conviction record. One of the authors has boldly argued that the policy should be abandoned outright because it “does more harm than good.” It’s the wrong conclusion. The nation cannot afford to turn back the clock on a decade of reform that has created significant job opportunities for people with records. These studies require exacting scrutiny to ensure that they are not irresponsibly seized upon at a critical time when the nation is being challenged to confront its painful legacy of structural discrimination and criminalization of people of color.

Our review of the studies leads us to these top-line conclusions: (1) The core problem raised by the studies is not ban-the-box but entrenched racism in the hiring process, which manifests as racial profiling of African Americans as “criminals.” (2) Ban-the-box is working, both by increasing employment opportunities for people with records and by changing employer attitudes toward hiring people with records. (3) When closely scrutinized, the new studies do not support the conclusion that ban-the-box policies are responsible for the depressed hiring of African Americans. (4) The studies highlight the need for a more robust policy response to both boost job opportunities for people with records and tackle race discrimination in the hiring process—not a repeal of ban-the-box laws. ….

…..In recent months, two studies evaluating the impact of ban-the-box policies have been released—both making the controversial claim that the policies have a detrimental impact on young African-American men. One of the researchers concludes that the policy should be abandoned because it “does more harm than good.” The two studies at issue were authored by Amanda Agan and Sonja Starr (“Ban the Box, Criminal Records, and Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment”) and Jennifer Doleac and Benjamin Hansen (“Does Ban the Box Help or Hurt Low-Skilled Workers? Statistical Discrimination and Employment Outcomes When Criminal Records Are Hidden”).4 A third recently released study by Daniel Shoag and Stan Veuger (“No Woman, No Crime: Ban the Box, Employment, and Upskilling”) presents a range of findings on the impact of ban-the-box policies in geographic areas with high crime rates…..
Ban the Box, Criminal Records, and Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment
Source: Amanda Agan & Sonja Starr, University of Michigan Law & Economics Research Paper, No. 16-012, June 14, 2016

Does Ban the Box Help or Hurt Low-Skilled Workers? Statistical Discrimination and Employment Outcomes When Criminal Records Are Hidden
Source: Jennifer Doleac & Benjamin Hansen, July 2016

No Woman, No Crime: Ban the Box, Employment, and Upskilling
Source: Daniel Shoag & Stan Veuger, American Enterprise Institute, AEI Economics Working Paper, 2016-08, May 25, 2016