As America’s nursing shortage worsens, state workforce agencies and healthcare institutions team up with Western Governors University to develop the nation’s first accredited, online, competency based bachelor’s degree nursing program. The country is currently suffering because there are too few nurses, especially experienced registered nurses (RNs), and the baby boomers put a rapidly increasing demand on the healthcare system. Part of the inability to address this problem is that nursing schools aren’t capable of accepting every qualified applicant. This program hopes to bypass the limitations of classroom and lab size to produce more nurses to avert our worsening shortage.
Though students are enrolling in Nursing school of Texas at a rate higher than ever, nursing colleges are fighting to meet the demand. There was an over 20% increase in hiring in the health care sector, making nursing the field with the most growth in the last year. Yet in the next fifteen years, Dr. Peter Buerhaus of Health Affairs has predicted that the shortage will be twice any shortage experienced since the ’60s. While jobs in almost every industry are decreasing, American health care continues to grow. Although the American Association of Colleges of Nursing is struggling to tackle the nursing shortage with litigation and strategies, Americans are afraid that the lack of nurses is affecting health care, with 40% believing that health care quality has diminished in quality. Dissatisfaction with the stress of an understaffed nursing team and the lack of time spent with each patient had caused serious doubts about the value of nursing and health care.
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The MAP-RN program is the result of a partnership between WGU, the Governor’s Task Force for the California Nurse Education Initiative Workforce and Labor Development Agency, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Texas Workforce and Labor Development Agency, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Catholic Healthcare West, Hospital Corporation of America, Kaiser Permanente, Tenet Healthcare, and Universal Health Services. This demonstrates the need for and wide support for online nursing programs.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the program for its joint functions of addressing the nursing shortage and helping Californians to find work. “This new competency-based program is a win-win for California by making nursing programs more accessible to people interested in pursuing this career path and helping to fill critically needed jobs throughout the state,” Governor Schwarzenegger said.
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Author: John RoneyThis author has published 14 articles so far.