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Nurse Recruitment and Retention News: Nurses Seek Advanced Degrees to Help End the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 4th, 2013

There is a nationwide push for nurses with advanced degrees. In its 2010 report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” the Institute of Medicine called for doubling the number of doctorate-level nurses by 2020, and the Affordable Care Act’s sweeping changes demand more nurses in leadership roles.

Yet nurses considering advanced degrees often find themselves in a Catch-22. They may see the value of higher education, but issues such as family responsibilities and budget constraints make obtaining it a challenge.

As one of the authors of the report “Charting the Course for Nurses’ Achievement of Higher Education Levels,” which appeared in the November edition of the Journal of Professional Nursing, Christine Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN, explored nurses’ barriers to education.

The two most common responses nurses gave when asked what keeps them from pursuing advanced degrees were cost and family/children. Also mentioned were lack of time, lack of interest in getting a degree and being too old.

Online nursing programs help to meet that challenge. Students who live within a certain radius of the university campus are often required to come to classes every week. Those outside the radius get permission to attend some courses from home using live video-conferencing and a real-time chat room.

The number of nurses getting master’s and doctorate degrees has ballooned in recent years,” said Jane Kirschling, RN, DNS, FAAN, president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The AACN tracks trends in degree programs and has seen significant enrollment growth from 2006 through 2011. In that time, enrollment climbed by 67% for master’s programs and 25% for research-focused doctorates. Enrollment for practice-focused doctorates surged upward by 955%.

Nursing schools should meet with healthcare facilities and regional, state and national foundations to talk about the positions and educational requirements needed and what funds are available to help nurses advance their degrees.

With the growth of the healthcare industry, the aging population, the demands from the Affordable Care Act — we’re going to need every provider we can get.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

One response to “Nurse Recruitment and Retention News: Nurses Seek Advanced Degrees to Help End the Nursing Shortage”

  1. That is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.

    Brief but very accurate information_ Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

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