One of the biggest contributing factors to the nursing shortage is a decreased number of graduates from qualified nursing programs. These nursing programs are necessary in order to produce registered nurses, or RNs, to provide quality patient care in hospitals and clinics. However, a lack of funding and resources to these programs means nurse training has become a sticky issue.
Education and Training Options
People interested in entering the field of nursing have several different options for how they can pursue their education. They can earn their nursing education as a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, or a diploma. The bachelor’s degree, which is usually called a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, is earned at a college or university. This type of degree usually takes about four years to complete. The associate degree of nursing, on the other hand, usually takes about two to three years to complete and is offered by community and junior colleges. There are a smaller number of hospital schools offering a nursing diploma, but these appear to be declining.
Progressive Nurse Training
Many nurses choose to earn their associate of nursing degree and to find a nursing staff position at a hospital or clinic. From there, they may take advantage of an opportunity to work as a nurse and then pursue a bachelor’s degree from a local college or university. Nurse training consists of classroom learning and supervised medical care instruction at clinics, hospitals, and laboratories. This training is vital to producing well qualified registered nurses. A registered nurse can choose to pursue any route of nursing, from home health care, to nursing the elderly, to working in the fast-paced critical care environment of a hospital.
These training programs are necessary to produce registered nurses, yet many qualified applicants are denied access to the school of their choice because the schools are not adequately funded. These potential students, who are eager to become nurses, are thus denied the opportunity to pursue a career in nursing. This lack of funding of nursing schools contributes, then, to the overall nursing shortage. Until this problem is addressed, the nursing shortage will continue despite the programs offered.