How to Help Combat the Nursing Shortage
As a health care leader, you have likely heard that with aging patient populations, retiring nurses and growing rates of chronic disease, America’s nursing shortage is getting worse, with 1.2 million registered nurse vacancies expected by 20221.
Contributing to this trend is another, less talked-about shortage: nursing educators. Because of this workforce gap, nursing programs must turn away qualified candidates each year, restricting the number of nurses entering the workforce.
It comes down to resources. Nurse educators’ wages simply have not kept up with those of nurses in the clinical setting over time. An experienced nurse educator who holds, at a minimum, a master’s degree, might command the same salary as an entry level nurse.
In my time as a nurse leader, many nurses have expressed to me that they would love to pursue advanced degrees and then teach — if they only could afford the pay cut. This especially impacts nurses with student loans.
We need to do better by our field, our educators and our patients.