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The Rise Of Nursing Courses In America

By Expert Author: Alvin Hill

The United States is bound to have a shortage of nurses as baby boomers start to age. The need for better health care and the rise in population underscored the need for new nurses to serve the country’s hospitals. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that colleges and universities are not producing enough nurses, but that was in the past.

Data coming from American Association of Colleges of Nursing saw an increase in enrollment among the courses that is related to nursing. However, despite the upsurge it will not be sufficient to supply the shortage of nurses the country is expected to have in the near future. AACN president Kathleen Potempa said in a news statement that that the increase in enrollment means that there is new interest among students in the nursing profession. There are also more people that are interested in improving their education and to develop new skills to thrive in a competitive nursing field.

In fact there are more than 75,000 students that are keen on becoming nurses have to be turned away due to lack of shortage of faculties and facilities in 2011, said a study by the AACN. The schools have to turn away the students because there were insufficient clinical teaching sites, lack of teachers and limited classroom space among others. Despite the setback nursing educators see an upswing in the nursing courses in America in the future.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that American would need more than 1.2 million new nurses and given the additional demand for nurses within the next eight years there is more pressure for colleges and universities to improve on their facilities and hire more teachers to teach the burgeoning nursing courses in America.

The supply is unable to cope with the demand and there is a need for the federal government to intervene to meet the nation’s need to satisfy the demand for nursing care, Potempa said.

The IOM sees that 80 percent of the nursing profession to have a BSN degree by 2020 which will also see a doubling of nurses that hold masters and doctorate degrees. AACN are going to implement the IOM recommendations to help improve the nursing profession and put nurses in better positions and improve America’s healthcare system.

The increased interest in nursing is also attracting males to take up a job that is traditionally dominated by females. In 2008, male nurses only account of 7.9 percent of the total number of nurses in the United States. This number is significantly lower compared to other first-world countries such as Germany, United Kingdom and Netherlands. The AACN reported that males account for 10 percent of the enrollment in the nursing programs.

The rise of nursing courses in America is a small part of a bigger picture. America is in the crossroads and it needs all the help it can get. As a stop gap measure it can import some of this healthcare professionals abroad but it will be not beneficial because of the disparity of the instruction. The US should start preparing for a nursing enrollment upswing today.

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