The Nurse Educator Shortage: Understanding the Impacts and Solutions
One of the biggest news stories to come out of the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic may be the nursing and nurse educator shortage of which we are still suffering the repercussions of today. In fact, the current US nurse educator shortage may be so serious that we may be seeing its consequences over a decade from now, with no way of knowing how long or short it may last. What are the causes of this shortage? Is there any way of slowing it down? And what can we do to prepare ourselves for the years ahead? 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, 20% of US states are projected to be facing a nursing shortage by 2035. This level of shortage in the nursing world has been unparalleled for nearly thirty years and is seemingly more widespread than more recent shortages, not only resulting in fewer nurses to care for our aging population but also resulting in fewer nurse educators to train those nursing students who have made it through the rigorous application process.
Fewer Nurse Educators Means Fewer NursesOne of the more frustrating aspects of the current nursing crisis is that in many ways the solution is prevented because of the problem itself. This is maybe best demonstrated by the fact that fewer nurses mean fewer nurse educators–and vise-versa. When the true signs of the nursing shortage began to show in 2021, the National Nursing Workforce Survey reported that nursing programs in the US were forced to turn away over 91,000 viable applicants due to a lack of nurse educators to train them. While there were plenty of nurses in line to receive their education, there were simply not enough resources to put them to work.
- Stressful work conditions with inadequate pay
- An aging population of both patients and nurses
- An increase in demand since the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic
ConclusionWhile the nursing shortage is a national crisis that we will likely be dealing with for many years due to the aging workforce, solutions are already at work to curve its effects. Covid-19 is going to be a part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future, but it's no longer a surprise. Hospitals and nursing facilities are now prepared for the worst-case scenario and have started to implement safer and less stressful work conditions as well as increase pay in order to encourage those looking to enter the nursing workforce, and it's now easier than ever to begin a career in nursing. This is especially good news for nurse educators who are desperately needed to train and prepare nurses for the rocky road ahead of them.
To support lifelong learning, we provide a collection of informative and insightful articles that explore the diverse roles, responsibilities, and educational pathways of nurse educators in various healthcare settings.
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