Nursing is a worthwhile profession for young people to go into. There is job security and the satisfaction of helping other people. Some states forgive as much as $25,000 per year if you commit to teach at an in-state college for two years.
There are 2.5 million registered nurses employed in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2020 we will have a shortage of 285,000 nurses nationwide. “That shortage could be 500,000 by 2025.” says Peter I.Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N. a professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN…
Why do we have a shortage of nurses? Nursing was once thought of as work for women and as jobs opened up for women in men dominated professions, fewer choose nursing. That is only one of the reasons, even more disappointing is there aren’t enough colleges and universities to teach nursing, and more people apply than can be accepted. Some 40,285 applicants were turned away from nursing programs in 2007. “Our applicant pool is running 8 to 1.” said Jeanette Lancaster, Ph.D., R.N. dean of the University Of Virginia School Of Nursing, in Charlotte, Va. and president of AACN.
Aging nurses are retiring and there are not enough graduates to replace them. Nurses who qualify as faculty can make more money working in a clinical practice and that further depletes the hospitals of nurses. “The largest number of entrants into nursing are in the late 20’s and 30’s looking for a second career.” says Buerhaus.
Johnson and Johnson launched a $50 million initiative called Campaign for Nursling’s Future to attract more people to the field. It also provides funds for students to study nursing and for nurses to teach at the college level. Some states are helping as well. Virginia students in nursing who commit to teaching in an in-state college for two years afterwards can receive up to $25,000 annually in loan forgiveness. This program was designed to attract more students to nursing.
“The public admires and respects nurses” says Buerhaus” There is unlimited opportunities for growth, advancement, and economic security in the field. And there is the knowledge and satisfaction of knowing you make a difference in people’s lives.
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