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Saturday, May 19, 2007
The United States is in the midst of its longest and worst nursing shortage in 50 years.

Nearly half of all nursing jobs will be unfilled by 2020 according to some estimates.

"If these predictions are fully realized, almost one out of two New Jersey patients will not have an RN to care for them when they need nursing care," the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing declared in a report to Gov. John Corzine last yer.

In a scramble of nurses, hospitals are establishing stronger links to nursing schools. They're recruiting foreign nurses, with the Philippines as the largest source for New Jersey.

They're luring older nurses back to the profession by offering higher salaries and better schedules. "Everyone has been doing all kinds of creative things to get nurses to come back to the workforce, at least on a part time basis", says Aline Holmes, a senior vice president of the New Jersey Hospital Association and a nurse herself.

For hospitals, making sure their nurses don't burn out -- most recent nursing grads across the nation leaves their jobs after two years -- also has become a must.

These programs are working. Nurses in their 50s are returning to the workforce, attracted by good salaries even for part time work.Most surprising, though, are educated people in their late 20s and 30s who decide to become nurses.

Fresh graduates enter the workplace at salaries ranging from $57,000 to $70,000 a year. But there are still aren't enough nurses being trained. Last year, the 24 nursing schools in Jersey graduated a total of 2,200 registered nurses. Workforce experts estimate that New Jersey needs to graduate 5,600 nurses a year to avert a nursing shortage in 2020.

The problem is there aren't enough nursing teachers. "Our nursing schools are bursting at the seams", say Geri Dickson, executive director of the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing at Rutgers University. "But because they dont have enough teachers, they're also turning away qualified applicants".

(Source: Filipino Reporter May 18-24 '07 issue)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:38 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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