Nurse shortage rears its ugly head once again. This time it is not caused by the lack of interest from men and women to become nurses; but the lack of nurses who want to become teachers. Working as a nurse in private practice brings more compensation than working as a clinical instructor. The gap between their pay continues to grow. Those who do want to teach are not only faced with lower pay; but also more expenses if they want to pursue a higher degree of learning by taking courses in a master’s degree or PhD.
Less number of credentialed instructors mean that the capacity to provide quality education is low. This would result to less applicants getting accepted in nursing schools. A lower number of applicants would produce a diminished number of graduates. This would mean that there will be an insufficient number of nurses who will be able to join the workforce of the healthcare sector.
There are some things that can be done so potential nurses will be motivated to pursue a career in health care:
>> The present budget for nursing should be either preserved or increased. Reducing the budget would only aggravate the situation. This would also increase the chances of a health care crisis. The recession makes it hard for most people; but the nursing budget should be left unaffected by this.
>> Get a nursing certification without leaving home. Like the RONE (Rural Outreach Nursing Education) iniative of Lower Columbia College, education is offered to presently-employed hospital staff. They have the option of furthering their studies without having to quit their present jobs. Instruction and training are done by LCC teachers and by practicing Registered Nurses online or on site at the rural hospitals. More initiatives like RONE should be started to expand nursing education and accommodate the demands of nursing applicants.
>> There should be uniformed courses for all colleges. Nursing students should not be made to retake a course because one state refuses to recognize the course taken in another. This should not only be applicable to nursing colleges but to all academic institutions. Retaking courses is not only time-consuming but very expensive. Colleges should collaborate to have a streamlined curriculum.