America is in a nursing shortage.
It’s been talked about for literally as long as I’ve been a nurse.
21 years for those playing along at home.
The warnings started as I was preparing to graduate. They might have existed longer, but I just wasn’t paying attention.
The retiring Baby Boomer generation of nurses is a big part of it.
The covid pandemic did not make it any better. 90% of current nurses are considering leaving the profession. There are a lot of reasons but the most current one is the blatant disrespect of the public around covid precautions and vaccinations. At least that is what some nurses I work with are telling me.
And the side gig life is real. And lucrative for some people.
Online schools have also joined the playing field. There are many ways to go about getting an RN. There is the traditional 4-year college. There are community colleges. There are online schools. All graduating as many as they can to hold off the crisis.
And nursing schools have been limiting enrollment in nursing programs.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses 64,000 qualified applicants were turned down because of class size limitations. Nurses that very much are in need in the current climate.
Because there is a lack of nursing instructors.
Again, there are a variety of reasons, including retirement of current instructors. And the budgetary constraints of the schools feed into it. Don’t forget that nursing instructors are nurses too and have been impacted by the pandemic.
Heck, I was headhunted by a nurse educator at a college fair at the hospital. It’s a bit too far for me to drive to teach there, and I’ve got this PhD program I’m in right now. But, when I graduate, I will definitely be finding a job as a nursing instructor. Because that is part of my nursing endgame, and one of the reasons I am back in school and in a nursing faculty loan forgiveness program. I have to teach nursing after I graduate, and 85% of my schooling will be forgiven.
But there are many nursing schools within my metro area at a glance. Over 10 within thirty miles. And you can’t have a nursing school program without teachers.