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Solutions for the Current Nursing Shortage

Solutions for the Current Nursing Shortage

Stephanie Larkin |

The nursing shortage in the United States is estimated between 340,000 to over a million nurses. Many of the nurses that are leaving the field are management and faculty nurses needed by nursing schools for training the new crop of nursing graduates. Many of these upper level administrative nurses are nearing retirement age, just at the time that demand for nursing care is increasing as the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age. The number of nurses in hospitals, public nursing, teaching and geriatric centers are all falling behind the demand, with little improvement seen in the immediate future. Some of the solutions for resolving the nursing shortage which have been suggested by various study groups and interested partners are as follows:

Developing public/private partnerships

In many instances, the plans for public/private partnerships involve public funding to increase faculty and attendance at nursing education facilities. Due to an aging population, the same time the demand for nurses is increasing; nursing educators are aging as well and subsequently leaving the workforce. A three fold program has been implemented to increase the number of classes, increase the number of faculty in the nursing field and increase the number of students who have been unable to enter the field previously because of lack of resources and limited enrollment quotas. Public funding will cover part of the gap between supply and demand in the nursing field.

Using technology as a training tool

Although a major part of nursing education is clinical experience, much of the classroom education can be handled through today’s advanced technology. Internet education, distance learning, and accelerated learning programs based around adult work schedules are all ways in which technology can be used as a training tool for nursing educators. As the care of the patient becomes more related to technological advances, routine nursing practices can be drilled by using that same technology. Technology advancements can also be used in testing and certification settings for nursing educators.

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