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Nursing shortage fueled by teacher shortage

Stockbyte | Comstock

Stockbyte | Comstock

One of the biggest causes of the much-hyped coming nursing shortage is not the lack of interest in nursing, but rather the lack of room available in nursing schools to train those who are interested.

ABC News reports that more than 80,000 applicants are turned away from the nation’s nursing schools every year. Some of those aren’t accepted because of lack of teachers and resources.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is currently working to help fund scholarships that will encourage nursing students and current nurses to go into teaching positions.

“On the one hand, we think that the position is getting better,” Pam Cipriano, president of the ANA, told ABC. “But on the other hand, we know it can take years before we can change the equation, before we have sufficient numbers of slots for those 80,000 candidates that are being turned away.”

Cipriano also said that the lack of available instructors comes at a time when many nursing schools feel the need to prepare more nurses for the nursing shortage.

“In addition to not having many student placements, and the retirement issue on the part of the faculty, the slowness at which we can prepare these nurses to serve as teachers has really come together at a time when we really want to increase the numbers, but we find that we are restrained,” she said.

Would you consider moving into a faculty position? Have you seen evidence of a nursing shortage? Do you think there will be one in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 Responses to Nursing shortage fueled by teacher shortage

  1. Kim Patterson

    There are several nursing schools in this area. The criteria for acceptance is very high (ie, a 4.0 grade average) and the graduation rate is near 100%. Many can’t find jobs in nursing after those years of dedicated hard work. Why? Because the hospitals believe whole-heartedly in doing more with less. One RN to a unit. One RN per long term care facility. And the pay relative to responsibility is abysmal. Until hospitals start getting hit with enough wrongful death lawsuits related to understaffing that the cost is higher than hiring and paying nurses, I don’t see this changing. Yes, nurses are retiring but instead of hiring a replacement nurse, remaining staff are forced to take on the extra duty. And complete it safely, efficiently and pleasantly. And be proficient in the new and ever changing technology. And document document document, leaving little time for the kind of care they wanted to give when they started their journey to become nurses. BURNOUT; the pay is better waiting tables.

    • DizzyLizzyNurse4444

      Yes, my old facility just stopped replacing nurses as they left.

  2. Tom Butler

    I am 50 and there is nothing I would like more than to be a nursing instructor, I have 24 years at the bedside with the last 14 in critical care, CCRN since 2003. But with an ADN, it would be too much of a hardship to get the get my BSN and beyond in order to teach when I have to still work full time to support myself and my two teenagers. That’s not the main obstacle though. At a time that I need to start saving for my own retirement now that child support is ending soon, Since I recently remarried, I ‘m having trouble seeing taking on all that debt for both her and me. It’s not fair to my new wife and kids to spend years wrapped up in only school and work, only to end up in my mid fifties with no savings, an uncertain job outlook and under a mountain of debt. I’m afraid that for a lot of us who would be very good, experienced, knowledgable teachers, it’s just too impractical a process.

    • DizzyLizzyNurse4444

      All that school debt and you’d wind up making less money, at least where I live.

  3. Robin Ramirez

    I currently teach in a vocational nursing program. I have looked into teaching at the university level but they don’t pay well enough AND you have many more duties & requirements to fulfill. Do research, get published, get your doctorate…Teaching is a full time job plus! I really have no desire to do the other stuff. This has been said before by many: you can earn more money and (often) work less hours at the bedside. I think we need to offer some more loan forgiveness opportunities for nurses, even for those who have been out in the workplace for awhile. If there’s a nursing shortage and it’s due to a lack of qualified faculty, then offer some enticement to bring qualified applicants in. I would take lesser pay and loan forgiveness for teaching!

  4. DizzyLizzyNurse4444

    I registered just so I could comment.

    The LAST thing we need (at least in my area) is more nurses!! There are way too many nurses in my area and not enough jobs. When I graduated I almost gave up as it took me almost a year to find an RN job in a run down nursing home nobody wanted to work in (but still got the pick of the litter because there are NO JOBS). This was after 10 years of CNA/LPN experience. After that I have been bumped all around the different facilities in the area that my company owns as my jobs were eliminated and floors or buildings closed. I’m on my 5th job (and about to start my 6th!!) in 3 years since I got that job almost a year after graduation.

  5. ncrn

    First, when will we get past this myth that there’s a nursing shortage???? Have any of you tried to get a position as a nurse recently? There is no nursing shortage. In talking with several teachers, I also do not believe there is a teacher shortage, either.

  6. KRZ

    I have a friend as an RN an I am finding that the shortage of nurses is not that there isn’t any out there, but that many can’t get a position because of the hiring process. These are qualified nurses, with experience in the nursing field, but if they are not 20 something, they can’t seem to get a foot in the door. Their experience seems to be worth very little next to a cute little bottom running around the halls. Ü

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