New RN Survey Results: Nurses a Little Grayer, Slightly More Diverse

New RN Survey Results: Nurses a Little Grayer, Slightly More Diverse

The U.S. nursing population has grown a bit more diverse in recent years, but most RNs are still white and female, according to a national survey from the Health Resources and Services Administration — and the average age is creeping upward.

According to the 2018 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN), close to 4 million licensed RNs in the U.S. were working as of Dec. 31, 2017, representing a 29% increase from the NSSRN’s 2008 findings.

The report also showed that almost three-quarters of nurses are non-Hispanic white, and that about nine in 10 are women. Also, the current RN population is “graying” — the 2008 survey reported that 44.7% of RNs were over age 50; the 2018 NSSRN survey put that percentage at 47.5%.

The NSSRN findings are in line with what the American Nurses Association (ANA) expected, said Cheryl Peterson, MSN, BSN, vice president of nursing programs for ANA.

But, she added, “I think we would all say that we are disappointed that we didn’t see more of an increase in the diversity of nursing between 2008 and now. We have to look again at… why people of color are not choosing nursing as a profession.”

The NSSRN identified a slight change in the proportion of minority RNs, driven primarily by an increase in Hispanic nurses. Specifically, 10.2% of RNs in the 2018 survey were Hispanic, 7.8% non-Hispanic black, 5.2% Asian, and 1.7% multiracial. Racial and ethnic minority groups accounted for 26.7% of all RNs who responded to the survey.

Healthcare needs to remove barriers to recruiting more nurses in communities where they are underrepresented, Peterson stressed, and “not just Hispanic and African American, but Native American as well as Asian and Pacific Islander and Alaska natives.”

In terms of men entering the RN workforce, the 2018 report found that male RNs made up 9.6% of the total population, a slight bump from 7.1% in the 2008 NSSRN survey.

Scott Kelnhofer, executive director of the American Association for Men in Nursing, said the organization was “encouraged” by the rise in the percentage of men in the profession.

“We anticipate the percentage will continue to grow in the coming years, based on the increasing number of men who are pursuing nursing degrees around the country, and as more men realize the benefits of entering a profession where there is such a high demand for a skilled and diverse workforce,” Kelnhofer wrote in an email.

The U.S. nursing population has grown a bit more diverse in recent years, but most registered nurses (RNs) are still white and female, according to a national survey from the Health Resources and Services Administration — and the average age is creeping upward.

According to the 2018 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN), close to 4 million licensed RNs in the U.S. were working as of Dec. 31, 2017, representing a 29% increase from the NSSRN’s 2008 findings.

The report also showed that almost three-quarters of nurses are non-Hispanic white, and that about nine in 10 are women. Also, the current RN population is “graying” — the 2008 survey reported that 44.7% of RNs were over age 50; the 2018 NSSRN survey put that percentage at 47.5%.

The NSSRN findings are in line with what the American Nurses Association (ANA) expected, said Cheryl Peterson, MSN, BSN, vice president of nursing programs for ANA.

But, she added, “I think we would all say that we are disappointed that we didn’t see more of an increase in the diversity of nursing between 2008 and now. We have to look again at… why people of color are not choosing nursing as a profession.”

The NSSRN identified a slight change in the proportion of minority RNs, driven primarily by an increase in Hispanic nurses. Specifically, 10.2% of RNs in the 2018 survey were Hispanic, 7.8% non-Hispanic black, 5.2% Asian, and 1.7% multiracial. Racial and ethnic minority groups accounted for 26.7% of all RNs who responded to the survey.

Healthcare needs to remove barriers to recruiting more nurses in communities where they are underrepresented, Peterson stressed, and “not just Hispanic and African American, but Native American as well as Asian and Pacific Islander and Alaska natives.”

In terms of men entering the RN workforce, the 2018 report found that male RNs made up 9.6% of the total population, a slight bump from 7.1% in the 2008 NSSRN survey.

Scott Kelnhofer, executive director of the American Association for Men in Nursing, said the organization was “encouraged” by the rise in the percentage of men in the profession.

“We anticipate the percentage will continue to grow in the coming years, based on the increasing number of men who are pursuing nursing degrees around the country, and as more men realize the benefits of entering a profession where there is such a high demand for a skilled and diverse workforce,” Kelnhofer wrote in an email.

The U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis periodically conducts surveys that examine race, age, gender, educational attainment, and other key characteristics of the nursing workforce. The first survey was conducted in 1977.

More than 50,000 active RNs completed the 2018 survey (online or on paper). The sample was randomly selected from licensure records provided by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing, and sorted by state, license type, and other demographics in order to determine the appropriate sampling rate from each state. The response rate was 50.1% (49.1% weighted).

Aging Workforce

In the current survey, mean age of survey respondents was 47.9, up from an average of 47.0 in the 2008 NSSRN survey.

Employers who aren’t paying attention to which of their RNs are nearing retirement could find themselves “in a world of hurt,” Peterson said, and may have to reconsider how they can keep RNs in direct patient care for longer.

She said that one strategy would be to rethink traditional nursing work schedules: “Are we so wedded to 12-hour shifts that we can’t reduce to [8-hour shifts], or look at other staffing patterns that might better suit a nurse who is older?”

It’s also important that employers attract younger RNs to their facilities while the more experienced nurses are still available to teach them, she said.

Education and Experience

Almost 64% of nurses said they earned a bachelor’s degree or other higher degree, with 19.3% reporting that they earned a graduate degree. But that leaves 29.6% of RNs whose highest level of education was an associate degree, and 6.4% whose highest attainment was an RN diploma.

“The complexity of healthcare is such that it warrants a higher level of education than even probably a diploma, but those programs are out there… they are part of the house of nursing and we support that,” Peterson said.

She noted that the 2011 Future of Nursing report stated a goal of having 80% of nurses earn a baccalaureate degree by 2020, Peterson noted. Still, while it’s unlikely the workforce will hit that mark this year, “we’ve made significant progress,” she said.

The current report also found that 11.5% of all RNs earned a graduate degree and an advanced practice certification versus 8.1% reporting the same in 2008.

The 2018 survey showed that registered advanced practice nurses (APNs) made up about 11.5% of the nursing workforce. A relative handful of RNs, 5%, received their training outside the U.S.

Telehealth

Telehealth technologies were available to 32.9% of RNs in 2017 and, of those, 50.3% report using some version of telehealth “in their primary nursing position.”

Provider-to-provider consults made up 54.4% of telehealth use and calls from nurses to patients made up about 50%.

Peterson said the rise in telehealth is not surprising. “We see the National Quality Forum, and some of these value-based purchasing plans, that are really …placing value — including monetary value — on follow-up phone calls, [and] follow-up televisits to patients after they’ve left the hospital,” she said.

Peterson said she expects to see more reliance on telehealth with the increasing use of technologies such as wearables.

“I think this is where nursing has the capacity to do … some really good work,” she said, “being able to appropriately and adequately advise patients” by leveraging algorithms and their own critical thinking to provide guidance and feedback to patients outside the office.

Salaries

Full-time RNs earned a median salary of $73,929; the median for part-time RNs was $39,985.

There was a significant gap between male and female for median full-time earnings, with male RNs earning $79,928 per year and female RNs earning $71,960, according to the survey results.

Peterson said that she has not heard any complaints from nurses about a pay disparity. “I think it’s more about career choices,” she said: male RNs tend to work in places where there is a salary differential, such as emergency departments, ICUs, and in management.

by Shannon Firth, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today

Originally published in MedPage Today

10 Things Nurses Need to Know about the Measles Outbreak

10 Things Nurses Need to Know about the Measles Outbreak

From New Years’ Day 2019 through April 11th, the United States has reported 555 cases of measles in 20 states—the second largest measles outbreak reported since the disease was eliminated in 2000. Keep reading to learn the 10 things nurses need to know about the measles outbreak:

1. Measles is brought into the U.S. by travelers who’ve been in foreign countries where the disease is prevalent—countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. It is then spread in U.S. communities via contact with pockets of unvaccinated populations.

2. Measles outbreaks, defined as three or more reported cases, are currently ongoing in Rockland County New York, New York City, New Jersey, Washington state, Michigan, and the counties of Butte County California. In addition, new cases have recently been identified in New York’s Westchester and Sullivan counties.

3. Once a person is exposed to the measles virus, it may take up to two weeks before symptoms begin to show. A person is contagious four days before the tell-tale rash appears and for four days after. Measles is an airborne virus that can be shed by those infected long before the symptoms arise.

4. There is no available antiviral therapy to cure measles—only supportive therapy for the symptoms, among which are those similar to the common cold: fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, followed by conjunctivitis and body rash. Measles can sometimes lead to more serious and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis.

5. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a health emergency in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is mandating unvaccinated residents to become vaccinated. Those not complying could receive violations and fines of $1,000.

Actions Taken

6. Mayor de Blasio has sent a team of “disease detectives” into the Hasidic Community in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where nearly half of the U.S. cases reported are identified.

7. Coincidentally, the New York State Nurses Association just reached an agreement with the NYC Hospital Alliance to hire more nurses to fill vacancies and add new positions.

8. Detroit is urging those Michiganders vaccinated prior to 1989 to receive a booster vaccination.

How Nurses Play a Role

9. The role of nurses in these outbreaks is education and the promotion of vaccination.

10. It is critical that frontline health care professionals are vaccinated themselves in order to prevent the further spread of the virus, particularly when treating those patients infected by the disease.

New BSN Degree Through University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College

New BSN Degree Through University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College

The University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College have joined forces to provide a new bachelor of science in nursing degree, in order to help meet the four-year credential requirement that more and more health care employers are mandating.

The new degree program is designed for students to start their coursework at the University of Dayton in their first year. In the second and third years, students are dually enrolled at Dayton and Sinclair, balancing nursing courses and clinical rotations. At the end of the third year, students will complete their ASN from Sinclair, before moving on to year four at Dayton to complete their BSN. Additionally, after gaining their ASNs, students will be allowed to work as licensed registered nurses through the National Council Licensure Examination.

“The bachelor of science in nursing offers students an affordable pathway to a high-quality degree,” said UD School of Education and Health Sciences Dean Kevin Kelly. “The program draws on the strengths of both institutions, including UD’s Marianist tradition of educating the whole person and Sinclair’s long and excellent reputation in nursing education, and helps meet a critical workforce need in the Dayton community.”

As the nursing shortage continues, more degree program options like the one designed by the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College are crucial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting a 15 percent job growth for registered nurses through at least 2026. With RNs needed in hospitals, extended care facilities, schools, and other organizations, it is critical to increase more education and certification options for those planning to become nurses.

“Employers in our region appreciate the caliber of the Sinclair nursing graduate, but also place value on registered nurses having a BSN degree,” said Rena Shuchat, Sinclair College Health Sciences dean. “Sinclair and UD have a long-standing partnership and this is another example of two great institutions partnering to provide our region with high-quality nurses with an advanced degree.”

This program is especially helpful for those wanting to pursue a BSN but concerned about costs. Sinclair tuition costs are locked in for years 2 and 3 of the program, and students are locked into a transparent net-tuition plan through the University of Dayton for years 1 and 4. Beyond the financial benefits, students will be able to seek academic help from faculty at both schools. These BSN candidates will also be working alongside UD and Sinclair students in other health science degree programs, providing them with a well-rounded education that will assist them as they begin their RN careers.

For more information on this new degree program, visit the University of Dayton’s website.

New Psychiatric Mental Health Certificate Offered at SDSU

New Psychiatric Mental Health Certificate Offered at SDSU

The College of Nursing at South Dakota State University is now offering a postgraduate certificate program in psychiatric mental health. The certificate program, which was approved earlier in February, will begin courses in Fall 2019.

“We know family nurse practitioners assess for mental-health needs across the life span but are limited in treating the needs without the specialized certification,” Mary Minton, associate dean of graduate nursing for SDSU’s College of Nursing, told the SDSU Collegian. “The proposed certificate prepares graduates to provide much needed high-quality mental-health care in a variety of settings in rural and urban South Dakota. It increases much-needed access to psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in our state where a serious shortage currently exists.”

The certificate was created to help with the shortage of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in South Dakota. A publication from the South Dakota Center for Nursing Workforce reports that while the state has over 1,100 certified nurse practitioners, only 3.3 percent of them are working in psychiatric mental health.

“This certificate will enhance the scope of practice for the nurse practitioner to provide more holistic health care,” Kay Foland, an SDSU College of Nursing professor, shared with the SDSU Collegian. “Persons needing health care more than likely to have a number of health concerns, including emotional and mental health issues. Completing the psychiatric mental health certificate will better prepare the family nurse practitioner to provide a more comprehensive, competent and evidenced-based practice level of care.”

There is a great need for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, in addition to more healthcare workers as the U.S. continues to suffer a nursing shortage. SDSU approved this certificate program to help address the shortage, so more nurse practitioners can work in outpatient clinics, primary-care units, private practices, community health and community mental health centers, and hospitals. They may also provide services in substance abuse programs, high-risk pregnancy centers, schools, prisons and trauma centers.

The certificate program is a part-time, 18-credit online program designed for advanced practice registered nurses, and family nurse practitioners, to complete in four semesters. For more information on the program, visit www.sdstate.edu/nursing/graduate-nursing/.

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!

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