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Solving California Nursing Shortage Requires Redesigned Education System
Date:6/16/2008

BERKELEY, Calif., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A more complex healthcare system, rising patient safety expectations and a persistent nursing shortage are among the reasons cited for transforming California's nursing education system in a new study by the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care (CINHC).

"We need a better system for educating nurses," said Deloras Jones, executive director of CINHC. "We cannot continue to educate nurses using traditional strategies. New models are evolving that will better prepare nurses for today's complex environment."

According to the study, more baccalaureate- and graduate-prepared nurses will be needed as the state strives to fill a forecasted shortage of 116,000 nurses by 2020. Currently, 70 percent of graduating nurses have two-year AA degrees, and only 26 percent of these go on to secure a BSN or graduate level degree.

"The guiding vision for this study was creation of a system that would develop a workforce of well-prepared professional registered nurses who can be leaders in improving the health of Californians," said Jan Boller, PhD, RN, who directed the study.

A critical barrier to improving the state's nursing education infrastructure, according to the report (Nursing Education Redesign for California: White Paper and Strategic Action Plan Recommendations), is the difficulty in recruiting experienced nurse educators. Entry level teaching salaries may be only half what can be earned as clinical nurse with 20 years of experience. Currently, nearly seven percent of teaching positions are unfilled.

The report identified seven critical areas for strategic nursing education redesign:

--Forging strong academic and health care service partnerships

--Establishing core professional and clinical role competencies

--Developing a model for educational advancement to BSN and advanced

degrees

--Collaborating to recruit, develop and retain a diversified f
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SOURCE California Institute for Nursing & Health Care
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