Magazine article Techniques

Concern about National Nursing Shortage. (Front and Center)

Magazine article Techniques

Concern about National Nursing Shortage. (Front and Center)

Article excerpt

Among the issues drawing renewed attention in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is the national nursing shortage. On September 25, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on the causes behind the nursing shortage, its impact on the nation and possible solutions to the shortage.

Melissa Velazquez, a staff nurse at the Washington Hospital Center Burn Intensive Care Unit who treated victims of the Pentagon attack, told the committee that, "Over the last year the burn ICU lost more than half of its staff to different educational and employment opportunities."

Rep. Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.) plans to introduce new legislation aimed at combating the nursing shortage. "The average age of nurses in the United States is 43, and in 2010, nearly 40 percent will be age 50 or over," Kelly said. "Looking down the road, the population of those age 65 and older is expected to double between 2000 and 2030. The cumulative effect of all this is that nurses will be leaving the profession rapidly, at a time when we need them most."

Dr. Catherine Garner, dean of the University of Phoenix College of Nursing and Health Sciences, offered recommendations on public-private partnerships and on distance education to help those who live in rural areas or must work odd hours while pursuing their nursing education. …

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