Nurses are the backbone of future public health system. Nurses take on the roles of empowering patients to actually look at their lifestyle and identify how they can care for their own health. It doesn't have to be high tech, or even hugely costly, but getting people involved in active lives in our communities will assist the health promotions and well-being agenda for the future generations to come. Although a nursing shortage has been a chronic disaster for numerous years without the problem being fixed, non-eligible nurses, shortage of educators, and baby boomers have all factored into this shortage immensely increasing the shortage.
People often underrate nurses and the complex education credentials they have to uphold to. According to the statistics of the National Council on State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) only 84.5% of the 157,882 whole took it passed on the first attempt in 2015. With that said, the other 15.5% failed the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) RN. The test is graded as pass or fail, and although you get a Nursing License and are qualified enough to start working in the hospital, no plague will prepare you for the high stress and critical thinking you have to endure on your own. As they say, it takes a special type of person to become a nurse.
A big problem that is attributing to this shortage is the intense competition getting into nursing programs. The general response to this would be, “How would there be a competition getting into nursing schools if there's a high need for nurses?” Cable News Network (CNN) Money wrote a story on how in the middle of a nursing shortage, nursing schools are actually rejecting thousands of applicants. While there is a worldwide nursing crisis, applicants that have graduated at the top of their class, some with a 3.5 GPA or better, are getting turned down from nursing schools. As I'm sure you have to pass and score above a certain percent, its shocking to see how lucrative and hard it is to be accepted to further your education to contribute to this disaster. (Kavilanz, 2018)
The struggle to find qualified teachers is also a problem with not only properly training nurses but it limits the nursing school staff which limits potential applicants. According to CNN, “The annual national faculty vacancy rate in the nursing program is over 7%. That's about two teachers per nursing school or shortage of 1,565 teachers.” This is a very high percentage of nursing schools without enough teachers. It puts enormous stress on the health care system in general. Clearly, there's a supply and demand gap in nursing and nursing teachers and it is likely it will only continue to grow. Not to mention the NCSBS raised the passing standard on the NCLEX further complicating the matter.
Taking a closer look at the reasons behind the faculty shortage there are a complex amount of factors which all have a interconnected role as why such a shortage currently exists. Low salaries is one of the primary drivers why many clinical practices do not pursue to academia. Older age of faculty and their pending time of retirement also play a role. The workload of faculty is a problem when its constantly changing, many faculty feel they are not meeting the role expectations.
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