KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Nursing Shortage Leads To More Students, New Training Programs

"Long second shrift to other medical training, nursing education has taken on new relevance as the country faces a drastic shortage of nurses and a thin job market overall," The Dallas Morning News reports.

"Colleges are quickly expanding their programs to encompass lengthy waiting lists. And (Texas) Gov. Rick Perry has just approved $5 million to establish a regional nursing education center at the University of Texas at Arlington, a crucial resource facility for the area's 14 nursing schools. But right now demand exceeds space." 

Mounting interest creates a challenge in "finding enough training venues and equipment necessary for teaching this specialized profession. 'Everyone has the same problem,' said Robert Rosseter, associate executive director for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in Washington, D.C. 'There are more students but not enough faculty and clinical sites.' Texas alone had to send away 8,000 qualified applicants from nursing programs last year, according to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council" (Meyers, 7/8).

Also, high school students are playing an increasing role also as they look for a career with stability, The Tacoma (Wash.) Weekly reports. "As part of MultiCare Health System's sixth year of Nurse Camp, about 100 students were able to get exposed to all aspects of health careers within the hospital setting during a four-day interactive tour July 7-10."

"Many of the students at this year's camp knew they wanted to work in the health care field, but they were not sure exactly what that meant for them. Attendees used Nurse Camp as an exploratory tool to sharpen their ambitions in health care. In recent years the country has faced a nursing shortage, which was one prompt for Nurse Camp to start six years ago. Organizers hoped that getting more people exposed to health care, especially nursing careers, at younger ages could increase and diversify the nursing workforce" (Jensen, 7/9).

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