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SOLVING THE NURSING SHORTAGE IN AMERICA
New Book Offers Pioneering Solutions for Escalating Crisis
Pleasantville, NY, August 26, 2003 – By 2010, less than seven years from now, 1,000,000 new and replacement nurses will be needed in the U.S. health care system. While the health care community readily acknowledges the problem, most current approaches only scratch the surface of this mounting national crisis.
A strong commitment to applying resourceful solutions is needed and can help avert the crisis, according to “The Nursing Shortage: Strategies for Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Practice and Education” (Springer Publishing Company), the latest book from Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN and Dean of Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing.
Although the rising pay brought about by the shortage is beginning to draw more people to the field, Feldman and her co-authors offer strategies and solutions that move beyond the domain of “supply and demand.” The collection of case studies and cutting-edge research becomes a true “call to action” based on proven best practices from leading health care and teaching facilities.
Feldman’s cases offer policy, education and retention perspectives from diverse settings across the health care system – from a 60-bed acute-care facility in rural Missouri or the Denver Children’s Hospital to a hectic level-1 rural trauma center. From them, the book argues, decision-makers and health care leaders elsewhere can draw relevant solutions.
A common thread running through “The Nursing Shortage” is the belief that solving the shortage isn’t as simple as filling vacancies. Nurses with the right educational background and skill set are needed to handle the complex and technologically advanced demands of today’s health care system. “The challenges for today’s nurses are endless,” explains Feldman. “To meet the demands of a population that is aging, with increasingly complex health problems, today’s nurse must be educated in both the care of patients and the management of sophisticated equipment and technology.”
Specifically, Feldman recommends tested recruitment and retention techniques, preceptor and mentoring arrangements that help nurses to excel as experts, private and public funding initiatives that support the education of future nurses, and strategic partnerships between the nursing industry and educational institutions.
In an era of expanding – and competing – career opportunities for women and men, these proven tactics will encourage nurses to enter and stay in the profession to teach the next generation of nurses as enrollments expand. The scarcity of faculty is yet another bottleneck to addressing the nursing shortage.
Feldman is a national authority on nursing and has authored more than 90 articles, book chapters, and editorials. She recently co-authored “Nurses in the Political Arena: The Public Face of Nursing.”
The Lienhard School of Nursing at Pace University offers degree programs to approximately 550 students, including a 4-year BS program; a baccalaureate completion program for RNs; an accelerated RN/BS/MS for RN’s; combined degree BSN/MS program for non-nursing college graduates; master’s programs in family nurse practitioner, women’s health care nurse practitioner, and nursing informatics; and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study option in selected master’s specialties. The LSN also has three centers of excellence that enrich the educational experience and support student learning: the Center for Nursing Research, Clinical Practice and International Affairs; the Center for Continuing Education in Nursing and Health Care; and the Learning Resource Center.
Pace is a comprehensive, independent university committed to opportunity, teaching and learning, civic involvement and measurable outcomes. It has campuses in New York City and Pleasantville and White Plains, N.Y., and a Hudson Valley Center at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, N.Y. More than 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, Lienhard School of Nursing and Pace Law School. www.pace.edu