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Finding solutions to the chronic nursing shortage

The Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at The University of Western Ontario has announced a $2 million research chair to address issues surrounding the chronic shortage of registered nurses in Canada and the United States. Dr. Heather Laschinger, Ph.D., was named the first Arthur Labatt Family Nursing Research Chair in Human Resource Optimization.

A study by the Canadian Nurses Association found the country will be short 78,000 registered nurses (RNs) within two years, and the number is expected to grow to 113,000 by 2016. The American Nurses Association says the shortage in the US will be more than one million nurses by the end of this decade. The Arthur Labatt Family Nursing Research Chair in Human Resource Optimization will lead a broad research agenda examining issues related to the education and retention of nurses and factors that contribute to their success in a variety of health care settings, and support related teaching initiatives. The Chair's research will focus on the causes and consequences of the current professional nursing workforce shortage, with a view to optimizing health human resources in nursing to ensure high quality health care.

Laschinger says she's thrilled to be selected for this new research chair. "The Chair will extend my ongoing research, which for the past 15 years has examined how best to empower nurses for excellence in professional practice in work environments that promote the health of both nurses and their patients," says the Associate Director, Nursing Research and Distinguished University Professor. "This will provide an opportunity to develop new directions for investigating ways to optimize nurses' scope of practice within current evolving interprofessional practice environments and to examine best educational practices that prepare new graduates for optimal role functioning in these challenging work settings."

"Research excellence is critically important and I see this appointment as a way of advancing research in our strong School of Nursing. This Chair is focused in a timely, and critically important area for the Faculty and our society," says Jim Weese, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. "I congratulate Dr. Laschinger on being the inaugural Arthur Labatt Family Nursing Research Chair in Human Resource Optimization and I know that the outcomes of her research will continue to make a difference in the area."

The Research Chair is part of a $10 million gift from Arthur and Sonia Labatt announced last year.


Contact: Kathy Wallis
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario

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