Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nursing Shortage Has Solutions

Over the weekend the University of Louisville and Owensboro Medical health System in Kentucky announced a collaborative effort to train an additional 40 nurses a year, utilizing distance education.

Last week, we got a phone call in our office from a guy who wants to become a nurse - badly. He says he was one of over 600 people applying to a local nursing school that had 24 openings. And the nursing shortage is near crisis level.

There's simply no rational reason for such a dramatic restriction in the admission to nursing programs, especially today with elearning options.

In the online nursing assistant program we launched July 1, we've had over 150 applicants with minimal publicity. Many of these individuals are anxious to take the first step in their nursing career with this program - and many of them need the flexibility and accessibility that elearning offers.

It's time to blow the doors off the classroom and begin training enough individuals to become nurses that we make a significant difference in the shortage of trained professionals - from the nursing assistant and caregiver level all the way through to the graduate nurse level.

We have the skills. We have the technology. We simply need the focus and the dedication of resources and we can solve this problem today and for the future needs in our country.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm with you 100%!!! We have the same idiotic mentality here in Canada. Take advantage of nurses. Work them to death. Then when they go off sick, pay them for burnout and hire "agency nurses. Therefore, paying twice as much as if you'd treated the nurse properly, respected her/him with an appropriate number of patients, good pay, and working conditions.
    It's truly a disgusting reality in our "so called" enlightened society.
    Nothing can compare with clinical training for the nurse. However, etraining in preparation and to learn the theory is an appropriate, far-reaching (and gas saving) solution.
    I am a nursing assistant and would dearly love to become an RN. Can't at the moment as I'm caring for my husband at home.
    But - here in Canada, there are no programs that I know of for LPN's to become RN's. Really - it's not that much of a stretch. We give meds, injections, dressings, ng tubes, clean tracheostomies, and have just been advised that we are allowed to insert IV's - which was the only technique not taught to us.
    Great post. I hope more people will post about this until we change this archaic system.