September 17, 2019

The Editor speaks: Nurses

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Colin Wilson

We have a lot happening at the moment – Child Month, Mother’s Day and the oft neglected International Day of Nursing.

The latter is celebrated on May 12th ,which falls this year on Sunday.

The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization have sent out jointly a release we have published today titled “Nursing staff are vital for making progress towards universal health”.

The release says that today (Wed 8) at the “launch of the Strategic Directions for Nursing in the Region of the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) called on countries to invest in nurses to improve their availability, distribution and roles in order to advance towards universal health.

“Nursing staff represent the largest health workforce, accounting for more than 50% of health workers. Despite this, however, the lack of nurses in most countries in the Region compromises the global goal of achieving health for all by 2030.

“Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO highlighted that “in many parts of the world, nursing professionals are the first, and sometimes only, human resource in contact with patients” and claims that “investing in nursing enables advancing towards access and universal health coverage, which will have a profound effect on global health and well-being.”’

Last year CNN published an article under the banner “Nursing schools are rejecting thousands of applicants – in the middle of a nursing shortage”.

The reason given is there aren’t enough classes to teach nurses.

In America, experienced nurses are retiring at a rapid clip, and there aren’t enough new nursing graduates to replenish the workforce. At the same time, the nation’s population is aging and requires more care.

“It’s really a catch 22 situation,” said Robert Rosseter, spokesman for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. “There’s tremendous demand from hospitals and clinics to hire more nurses,” he said. “There’s tremendous demand from students who want to enter nursing programs, but schools are tapped out.”

There are currently about three million nurses in the United States. The country will need to produce more than one million new registered nurses by 2022 to fulfill its health care needs, according to the American Nurses Association estimates.

That’s a problem.

The article goes on to say:

“In 2017, nursing schools turned away more than 56,000 qualified applicants from undergraduate nursing programs. Going back a decade, nursing schools have annually rejected around 30,000 applicants who met admissions requirements, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“Some of these applicants graduated high school top of their class with a 3.5 GPA or higher,” said Rosseter. “But the competition to get into a nursing school right now is so intense.”

Because of the lack of openings, nursing programs across the board — in community colleges to undergraduate and graduate schools — are rejecting students in droves.”

SOURCE: https://money.cnn.com/2018/04/30/news/economy/nursing-school-rejections/index.html

I was not aware of this and I doubt whether you are as it is not something that has been blazed around the national world headlines. Perhaps we should start a fake news story saying the Russians are behind it.

However, even if there were more classrooms available there aren’t enough teachers to teach. In 2018 there was a shortage of nearly 1,600 qualified teachers.

The sad thing is that nothing has changed. Somehow I doubt the goal set by the PAHO of achieving health for all by 2030 is not going to come close to being met.

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