New Florida Bill Aimed to Help State Nursing Shortage

New Florida Bill Aimed to Help State Nursing Shortage

Technical schools have been lobbying Florida state legislators so more students can become registered nurses. As a result, Florida House Bill 381 is under review with the Florida House of Representative’s Higher Education and Career Readiness Subcommittee. Language from the bill states that it would “…[authorize] school district career centers to conduct certain associate degree nursing programs.”

Manatee Technical College is leading the charge on this movement with support from Florida Association for Career and Technical Education. Currently, MTC offers a licensed practical nursing program, but technical schools cannot offer RN programs. If passed, the new legislation will allow Florida technical schools and centers to provide transition programs, where students who complete the licensed program can continue their education. This path could create more opportunities for students to take the state exam and become registered nurses.

“We’re not trying to compete with the state college,” MTC spokeswoman Maura Howl shared with YourObserver.com. “We’re trying to offer our graduates an opportunity they currently don’t have. It’s all about career pathways — to give students stepping stones to progress.”

Florida anticipates that there will be nearly 114,000 openings for registered nurses from 2017 through 2023. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity lists nearly 3900 of those openings within Manatee and Sarasota counties alone.

Keeping Up Nurse Recruitment Efforts

With Florida feeling the nursing shortage, healthcare employers, like Tidewell Hospice, are grateful for more opportunities for nursing students to become registered nurses. Presently, Tidewell has 17 open positions for registered nurses and seven open positions for licensed practical nurses. Cindy Coffman, Vice President of Human Resources at Tidewell, said some roles were posted over four months and have not received any applications.

“None of us can fill the job openings,” Coffman told YourObserver.com. “The applicant volume isn’t there. We’re really feeling it at this point.”

Tidewell has taken several steps to fill its nursing roles, including social media campaigns, hiring a nurse recruiter, and increasing bonuses. Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, another Manatee-Sarasota healthcare provider, has also been using new strategies to keep their nursing positions filled. LRMC Chief Nursing Officer Judy Young explained how the organization offers clinical rotations to local nursing schools, as well as a 12-week residency program.

“We’ve taken these creative steps to really embrace existing and potential new RNs coming into our program,” Lakewood Ranch Medical Center’s Director of Marketing Lisa Kirkland told YourObserver.com. “We’re trying to stay one step ahead of the nursing shortage issue.”

As of January 30, the bill is under review with several education subcommittees. If approved, it will go into effect on July 1.

Participate in our 2019 Nursing Career Survey!

Participate in our 2019 Nursing Career Survey!

Calling all nurses! Springer Publishing Company has launched the 2019 Nursing Career Survey, and we want to hear from you!

This study is designed for professional nurses and nursing students in every stage of their careers. Springer Publishing Company is surveying nurses to find out more about your professional paths, academic achievements, and leadership goals.

We are interested in learning about what steps you take and what tools you use to further your career, whether you’re just starting out or you’re thinking about pursuing a specialty. Your feedback will help us determine how we can better serve you and your needs in your nursing careers.

As always, there’s a perk for participating and helping Springer Publishing Company report the most up-to-date nursing career data. Survey participants will be entered to win one of five $25 Amazon gift cards!

Click here now to participate in the survey. We look forward to hearing your responses!

Nurse Residency Programs: Future for Post-Acute Care

Nurse Residency Programs: Future for Post-Acute Care

The New Jersey Action Coalition, in response to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation to implement nurse residency programs across all practice settings, initiated a statewide program for new graduate RNs working in post-acute care (PAC) beginning in 2014. To date, more than 100 nurses and their experienced preceptors from more than 50 facilities in the state have completed this education program. The new book, Developing a Residency in Post-Acute Care, that I co-authored shares the experiences, program content and lessons learned from that innovative project.

How can this book help nurse leaders in post-acute settings to meet the challenges they presently face to provide safe, person-centered, evidence-based nursing care? It provides current, ready-to-use education for PAC nurses as well as other caregivers. Nurses in PAC strive to care for increasingly complex patients; adapt to new regulations and financial restrictions; and incorporate patient care technologies previously unknown outside of acute care. The rapid rate of change is unprecedented, requiring continual, stressful and swift improvements in knowledge and skill. Preventing rehospitalization alone requires a nursing staff with proficiency in assessment, early identification of deterioration, and appropriate intervention. Adding to this environment is high nurse turnover with vacancies expected to increase as experienced nurses retire. These events will create a practice gap that nurse leaders will have to fill, much of it with education to insure the competence and confidence of nursing staff.

Clinical safety and competence are always critically important; however, nurses must be knowledgeable and skilled in many areas in order to be effective. For example, teamwork and collaboration are essential to thriving in an interprofessional environment. Expertise in communication is required for all interactions with patients, families and colleagues; and as consumers develop greater expectations for care, communication becomes an indispensable skill. Regulatory expectations for nurses to participate in evaluating and implementing best practices as well as leading performance improvement projects requires education in these areas as well. These are among the topics detailed in Developing a Residency in Post-Acute Care.

The need to intensify nursing professional development in PAC is compounded by often limited resources. Nurse educators with a dedicated role are less common than in acute care, and responsibility for education often falls on someone with multiple jobs. Management, infection control and/or employee health are commonly combined functions, and these may take precedence over education. PAC care settings may not be able to afford subscriptions to print or online journals, and usually do not have access to medical libraries. Even with those resources, the time to research best practices or innovative solutions to problems probably does not exist in the extremely busy life of a PAC nurse leader. The Internet is a vast store of educational resources, but locating and evaluating options can be very time consuming. This book can dramatically reduce the amount of effort spent researching and preparing educational sessions by suggesting content, methods and literature/media sources.

With education come increased nurse confidence, greater accomplishment and the possibility of role expansion. With that, staff engagement and satisfaction increase, yielding the added benefits of improved retention, workplace stabilization, renewed professional energy and a more successful PAC setting.

This story was originally posted on MedPage Today.

Veteran Luis’s VA Nursing Career Lets Him Serve Other Veterans

Veteran Luis’s VA Nursing Career Lets Him Serve Other Veterans

Luis considered going to work at a private-sector hospital following military service. But he chose a career as a nurse at VA, in part after benefiting from the care and comradery of VA.

“Being a Vet myself, I would like to influence how other Veterans are taken care of and the overall environment,” Luis says in a video. “I felt more comfortable here, so I think I can contribute more here.”

Luis’s story is a reminder that many Veterans choose VA healthcare careers for the chance to work with and care for others who have served and use their military skills in a civilian job.

“While in the service, I was a hospital corpsman,” he said. “My service, I feel, just carried on from there.”

Choose VA to advance in nursing

Veterans like Luis have flourishing nursing careers at VA, by applying skills learned in the military and by taking advantage of the many opportunities for continuing education and professional development.

VA is the nation’s largest employer of nurses, with programs in student employment, residency and orientation and nursing education scholarship programs such as the National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI).

“Whether nurses are LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) or RNs (registered nurses), they can move up,” said Marlene Brewster, associate director for Nursing and Patient Care Services at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in another video.

NNEI supports nurses like Luis with obtaining baccalaureate and advanced nursing degrees such as bachelor’s, master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice from an accredited education program.

Luis is getting his bachelor’s degree through the initiative. After graduation, he plans to study for a master’s degree, he said.

Choose VA today

“There’s a lot more benefits here than you might see on first glance,” he said.

Luis chose a VA nursing career to care for other Veterans and to learn and grow on the job.

This story was originally posted on VAntage Point. 

Graduate Student Nurses Face Enrollment Concerns Over a Critical Shortage of Health Care Providers

Graduate Student Nurses Face Enrollment Concerns Over a Critical Shortage of Health Care Providers

The United States is facing a critical shortage in all health care professions. With the nation’s baby boomer population approaching retirement age, the issue is twofold: the aging population requires more care, and the nation’s physicians, nurses, and other health professionals are retiring.

Too Many Students, Not Enough Options

The solution to filling this gap is replacing the departing health care professionals with nursing graduates of all academic levels. However, many higher education institutions are turning away suitable candidates in droves. In 2016, nursing degree programs in the U.S. rejected 64,067 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs alike citing a lack of budget, faculty, clinical sites and preceptors, and classroom space.

Currently, there is a serious shortage of physicians, which continues to grow. By 2025, there will be a projected deficit of nearly 35,600 primary care doctors alone. Nursing schools are facing the struggle and strain to increase the capacity of existing nursing programs, and explore other avenues like online courses and accreditation.

Higher Education Means Higher Pay

Enrollment is increasing in nursing masters and doctoral programs across the country, and it’s no wonder that nurses are applying to graduate schools en masse. RNs realize there are significant perks to training and becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. Evidence shows that the quality of care by an advanced practice nurse is comparable to physicians, while often more affordable.

The full-time annual salary for a Nurse Practitioner (NP) averages $105,546. The high pay range of the NP may be partly to blame for the faculty shortage—higher compensation in the clinical setting is luring potential educators away from teaching.

Most vacant faculty positions require a terminal nursing degree. If more nurses pursue a doctoral degree, the faculty shortage will be alleviated. What will the outcomes of the nursing shortage be? Only time will tell.

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife and freelance writer. She has ten years of nursing experience and graduated with a MSN from Frontier Nursing University.    

OPM Recruitment Strategies for Graduate Student Nurses

OPM Recruitment Strategies for Graduate Student Nurses

Online Program Management companies (OPMs) are taking the online nursing education market by storm. As higher education institutions compete to meet student expectations in a digital world, OPMs create, manage, and market education programs for these schools at a cost. These corporations shoulder upfront costs of developing and setting up the virtual nursing degree programs so universities don’t have to.

Building Out Both Traditional And Virtual Classrooms

While traditional colleges and universities are well-established contenders in the arena of in-person, face-to-face education, OPMs allow these institutions to branch out and offer nursing education online. Remote graduate nursing students have unique schedules and needs, so a different skill set is required to recruit them, as opposed to the conventional classroom student.

From a recruitment standpoint, OPMs provide a valuable service on the front-end. OPMs deliver innovative marketing to prospective and future students in this technological era with the return of a sizable applicant pool for their higher education clients.

A Conscionable Approach to Nursing Education?

But not everything is promising with this organizational model. Many professionals in higher education share the same concerns about the integrity of the Online Program Management model—that the conflicting goals of education for the greater good and business revenue by a corporation are incompatible.

By outsourcing their online nursing programs and subsequent marketing, traditional universities stand to lose authenticity in their brand and transparency in their recruitment efforts. Are OPMs merely filling desks or targeting students who fit the culture and philosophy of the institution?

While the moral ramifications of recruiting by OPM are unknown and will continue to be debated, the results are clear. The fact that the OPM market is a billion-dollar business implies that they are doing something right.

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife and freelance writer. She has ten years of nursing experience and graduated with a MSN from Frontier Nursing University.

 


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