Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Nursing Shortage--Important Data On Why

Brian Klepper has another one of his great posts up—this time over at “The Health Care Blog.”

We all know there is a nursing shortage but Brian sheds a new light on just why.

Here is a small sample from his post, “Benign Neglect and the Nursing Shortage:”

"Almost three-quarters of Nursing schools surveyed said the main reason that they can't train enough new nurses is a lack of qualified faculty. When I first heard this, it seemed counter-intuitive. There must be thousands of very seasoned and appropriately trained nurses who would be glad to go into the classroom.

"Not so. A July 2005 survey of Colleges of Nursing around the country found that 2/3 of all respondents said they had nursing faculty vacancies and needed to hire additional faculty. Of course they want nurses with PhDs, if possible, but with a range of specializations and the ability to both teach and do research. Even so, between 1992 and 2000, the percentage of Nursing faculty positions occupied by PhDs dropped 19%, from two-thirds to less than half.

"Data from 2001 showed it took a PhD nurse almost 21 years on average after receiving her undergraduate degree to get her terminal degree. The average age of full time Nursing faculty in 2001 was 51, and its almost certainly older now. As many a 300 PhD Nursing faculty are expected to retire in the next decade, exacerbating the problem.

"There are many reasons why Nursing faculty are difficult to come by, but one is overwhelmingly dominant. Nurses qualified to be faculty have to take significant pay cuts for the privilege of taking a teaching position. Nursing schools are unable to pay Nursing faculty candidates what they would make working as nurses in clinical positions in the marketplace."

I encourage you to read Brian’s full post, “Benign Neglect and the Nursing Shortage.


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