While the immediate effects of the nursing shortage are well documented, the long-term ramifications on the pipeline of workers are more subtle. A new report from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health details the bleak outlook on the nursing education industry.
The report found that one in six full-time faculty positions at nursing education programs in New York state are vacant—and educators are leaving their positions at an increasing rate. Growing vacancies are forcing institutions to reduce the number of students admitted to programs, which could exacerbate the shortage of registered nurses statewide, researchers said. While applications and acceptances to programs have remained stable, deans reported turning away applicants due to faculty shortages as well as a lack of training resources.
A dilapidated domestic nursing education system will only further impair America’s already depleted labor force. In reducing the number of resources going toward bolstering the next generation of nurses, we’re only prolonging the shortage, itself.
Patients and nurses are both put at risk when hospitals fail to employ effective remedies to the nursing shortage. Foreign-educated nurses offer a clear solution to fill critical gaps in care that are only certain to widen should we rely on a weakened pipeline of future nurses.
Read the full report here.