The following is the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) weekly news roundup, highlighting nursing and health care stories from around the state.

‘Silver Tsunami’ of Older Residents Shapes Debate on Long-Term Care Policy (NJ Spotlight)
The “silver tsunami” of older New Jersey residents who need long-term support and services is spurring the growth of home- and community-based services, but it’s also increasing the need for skilled nursing facilities, as well as reshaping the type of care residents receive and how the state will pay for it. These were among several topics discussed during a recent NJ Spotlight conference that brought together long-term care policy experts to discuss the future of such services in the state.

Trend in Hospital Mergers Reflected in Palisades-Hackensack Partnership (NJ Spotlight)
Standalone community hospitals – once the foundation of health care across New Jersey – have been disappearing steadily for decades, with many institutions propelled by economic pressure to join up with larger networks, while others have closed. Some of these mergers have sparked concerns among some health care, community and labor activists about patients’ access to medical services — especially those that involve the rising number of nonprofit hospitals being converted to for-profit entities. But others have cited the prospect of wider access to medical procedures and experts as a result of affiliations with larger hospitals.

Nursing homes in Hudson, Bergen counties prepare for series of strikes (The Jersey Journal)
Four nursing homes in Hudson and Bergen counties are preparing for a series of three-day strikes their workers announced on the heels of a five-month contract negotiation stalemate. Alaris Health nursing homes in Jersey City, Union City, Guttenberg and Rochelle Park have begun to “implement contingency plans” in response to the work stoppage threats from the union that represents some 450 workers and caregivers at the four centers.