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Today, while reviewing news through my Google Reader, I came upon the latest date regarding the Nursing Shortage and, more importantly, the Nurse Faculty Shortage. Here's a clip from the article (I'll add my thoughts and comments below the clip.):

..."Though AACN is pleased to see a lower faculty vacancy rate this year, we fully expect the shortage of nurse educators to re-emerge when the U.S. economy rallies and faculty retirement patterns resume," said AACN President Fay Raines.
"Over the next 15 years, workforce analysts project that the nation`s nursing
shortage will grow twice as large as any shortage experienced in this country
since the mid-1960s, and this will no doubt impact the supply of nurse faculty."
See the data and read full article here

Here's what I have to say and ask:

We have a lot of talk about "Change" and "Reform" in America right now. And, I'm all for Change and Reform when a system is not fair and is otherwise broken. Nursing, and the ability to create new nurses, is one of those systems...and I'm on a mission to contribute solutions...real solutions that do not require Government intervention (but I'll leave that for another time.)

Speaking of reform; Let's assume health care reform finally takes shape. If the above clip is true, and I'm one who believes it is, where the heck are we going to get the workforce (not just physicians) to handle all the folks sitting at home wishing they could get care for their ailments? Including me, there are four of those folks in my immediate circle of influence.

This is a real problem and opportunity seems to be upon us right now! The economic downturn has provided some relief within the nursing shortage as well as the nurse faculty shortage (as evident in the article referenced.) So, what can we do, NOW, without asking the Government for money, to help increase our capacity to educate more nurses?

I'm on a mission to solve this problem and I'm working on a solution. However, when it's ready, it is only one mechanism. And, I assure you it is not a "silver bullet." We need more ideas on the table. And, there's a LOT of brain-power within the world of Health Care Social Media. Please reply with your feedback. Here's the question again:

What can we do, NOW, without asking Government for money, to help increase capacity to educate nurses?

Please and thank you.

Tags: Faculty, Nurse, Nursing, Shortage, care, health, healthcare, hospital, nurse, nurses

Views: 63

Replies to This Discussion

"What can we do, NOW, without asking Government for money, to help increase capacity to educate nurses?"

All I can do is speak from my personal experience. My son was pursuing a degree in nursing. The first hurdle was trying to get into the nursing program. There is a waiting list that is at least two years long. The list ended up being three years long. The second hurdle that recently surfaced is financing for college. The gov't grants and guaranteed loans are not enough to cover the increasing cost of tuition. Since the recession hit there aren't companies out there willing to extend credit. They simply do not want to loan for educational purposes. I recently heard something about the gov't stepping in to finance all college tuition. That is entire different debate though.

I don't think there is anything that can be done in the short term "to increase the capacity to educate nurses." I would suggest that the only solution is more nursing colleges. The hurdles to open a college are one thing and being accredited is another. Both of these things take a lot of money and time to accomplish.
Being a baby boomer myself (and who isn't these days), I have great concern for the quality of my upcoming golden years. Unemployment, dwindling pension plans, and our failing economy aid further to an already critical situation.

The Health Care issue is such a complex topic today, it is hard to know where to begin with a response. Where do we concentrate our efforts to see the greatest relief?

In a "what's in it for me" society, as our next generation ages, some drastic measures will be needed. Perhaps it's time to take some personal responsibility in our own health. Obesity, adult onset diabetes, heart problems and cancer for a large part are products of lifestyle choices. Grant it, heredity and environment can also play a large part in your odds at good or not so good health, but making the right choices will most often deliver you your best odds.

It's a riddle to me how people will sit in coffee shop lineups for 20 minutes and wait for 30 minutes or longer for order-in meals when the most economical, most nutritious and easiest meal options are a couple of vegetables and a lean protein choice away. And of course the cigarette break is another "habit" that is in my personal opinion, polluted thinking. Grant it, it is a habit, but then again, so is going to the gym.

These are all choices . . . .and I believe it is in our own best interest to make those choices sooner than later, even if you haven't done so in the past. Education is our greatest allie in our fight for good health, but it is not easy leading a horse to water; he has to want to drink. Education has to start in youth, forming good habits by example.

With regards to the nursing dilema, this still remains a dilema. It is a very certain individual who will choose this remarkable profession; one with many qualities not everyone possesses. I personally commend anyone who makes this choice of service and I encourage our society to recognize their dedication and their value in our health care system.

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To Your Good Health,

Tracey Jamieson
I think the problem lies with the cost of education today. There are many articles online citing the flimsy reasons for why colleges are raising their tuition costs. Some have raised the cost of their tuition to imply that the education is better at their school - the chivas regal effect - and their enrollment AFTER the tuition hikes was at record high levels. More expensive education is not always better.

I think more students would enroll in nursing if the education were more affordable, and if the job security of a nursing degree was further reinforced. If you're a nurse, you can work anywhere in the US, it is a steady job as there will always be patients.





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