More Nurse Practitioners Needed due to Health Care Reform

As millions of people are now getting new insurance coverage due to the Federal Health Care Reform, the demand for nurse practitioners is rising. More people are now getting sufficient primary care, but only 10% of doctors are going into this field. A growing portion of primary care is given today by nurse practitioners, as reported by the mySA.

The nurse practitioner license is given only to nurses with sufficient post-graduate background, the universities are extending their nursing programs, and creating new ones.

Another initiative taken by nursing schools is opening new nurse-managed clinics which will give the needed primary care for the growing populations of insured patients. The public is learning to accept these new clinics, and universities get demands from rural areas to open such clinics. ‘“We can provide accessible, high-quality primary care in a nurse-led model for one-third the cost of a traditional medical model staffed by physicians,”  says Julie Novak, vice dean and professor in the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Says Julie Novak

 

Central Louisiana Colleges Offer More Nursing Programs

Following the Institute for Medical Report’s recommendation that by 2020 80% of Registered Nursing force will have a BSN degree, Louisiana colleges are in a rush to offer RN to BSN programs to meet demand. As reported in a recent article in thetowntalk.com, Louisiana colleges are offering various programs for practicing registered nurses in order to help them meet this recommendation. As of today, only 49% of practicing have a bachelor’s degree.

Elizabeth Battalora, chairwoman of the LSUA Department of Nursing, is quoted as saying: “There is a lot of work to do in the next seven and a half years. It requires nursing curriculum to be very rigorous and to be forward thinking.”

As most practicing RN’s will not have the time to attend a full-time in-campus programs, most of these programs offer at least part of the curriculum online.

As the demand for more educated nurses continues to grow, Central Louisiana schools offer also LPN to RN programs, for those nurses who have not yet completed there Associate degree. Nurses who have completed their bachelor degree are encouraged to continue their education so that they can go for a Nurse Practitioner license.

 

Shortage in Nurses Continues to Grow

The nursing career continues to be promising, as the shortage in nurses in USA keeps growing. Nursing schools are struggling to keep with the demand, as they need more faculty members and more places that can give students clinical experience. The schools also complaint of insufficient class rooms and budgets to fund the necessary programs.

The shortage is mainly felt for more qualified nurses, with B.Sc. degree, as many of the tasks needed can only be done by nurses with a strong enough academic background.

Read the following report, brought by Kate Mason from Tuscaloosa News:

The demand for nurses far outweighs the supply, a gap that is expected to grow much larger as nursing school enrollment struggles to keep up with demand.

 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the registered nursing workforce as the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020, with the number of employed nurses rising from 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020. In addition to 712,000 new job openings, the department predicted 495,000 replacement hirings, bringing the total number of nursing job openings to 1.2 million by 2020.

 

However, nursing school enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet the projected demand for registered nurses. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that U.S. nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2011 because of an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space and budget challenges.

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We often hear from nurses who were unsuccessful in finding a job which feel this shortage claim is false. Apparently, it  is more a problem of matching your qualifications with the right job, as the shortage is real. If you are having difficulties finding a nursing job, you should be checking what qualifications are needed in the relevant clinics around your place. This is especially true if you do not have an ASN or BSN degree,