PHILADELPHIA - At a time when the federal government is considering budget cuts to physician and nurse training, hospital chief executive officers are expressing concern over shortages of physicians and nurses, a new survey indicates.
More than three-fourths of the 400 hospital CEOs who responded to the survey identified nursing shortages as a serious problem that must be addressed soon, Among respondents, 96 percent agreed that the U.S. has too few nurses.
WASHINGTON - The latest report from the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC), State Actions & the Health Workforce Crisis, finds that states lack comprehensive and coordinated long- term planning for the health workforce and thus are ill-prepared to address an emerging national health workforce crisis.
Facing current and looming shortages of health professionals nationwide, states have established a variety of programs to boost workforce capacity. However, state initiatives are often focused on one profession (particularly nursing in recent years) or are targeted at rural or underserved areas. Rarely do states engage in long-range planning for the full spectrum of the health professions.
SACRAMENTO - A new report by California's key Legislative Analyst, Elizabeth G. Hill, projects that within 7 years the State will be short by 12,000 registered nurses. According to the Report, the State currently has 230,000 registered nurses working full or part time. The average salaries for registered nurses have jumped from $52,000 in 2000, to $69,000 in 2006, an increase of 32 percent over the six-year period. There are currently 110 public and private colleges, of which 26 have added since 2000-2001, about a 25% increase.
BOSTON - Hospitals that operate at or over their capacity may be at increased risk of adverse events that injure patients, according to a study led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Woman's Hospital (BWH). The report in the May issue of the journal Medical Care suggests that efforts to meet two primary challenges facing hospitals today - reducing costs and improving patient safety - may work against each other.
"While financial and political pressures to make health care more efficient are leading to increased hospital occupancy and greater patient turnover, patients and policymakers are quite rightly demanding that health delivery systems be made safer," says Joel Weissman, PhD, of the MGH Institute of Health Policy, the report's lead author. "Our study suggests that pushing efficiency efforts to their limits could be a double-edged sword that may jeopardize patient safety.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Hiring of foreign-trained nurses may help alleviate our nursing shortage, but in a world where basic health care is in short supply in many nations, the practice troubles some people.
The biggest issue may be an ethical one. On the other hand, America has historically welcomed people who want to work here and use their skills to better their lives." one medical staffing expert said.
"At the end of the day, the ethics rest with each individual," he said. "Each individual has the right to choose where they want to live and where they want to work. What we want to do is have as many nurses as possible by making nursing as attractive as possible.
In This Issue
Liz Di Bernardo