Although there are important differences between the phenomena of a ‘Nursing Shortage’ and a ‘Shortage of Nursing Care’*, both are immaterial when hospital leaders value and support the work we do! According to an “Improvement Story” found on the IHI website called, “There is No Nursing Shortage Here” at Hackensack University Medical Center, (HUMC) there is a waiting list of nurses who wish to work there! Granted, this could be a reflection of higher rates of unemployed nurses, but given the following leadership quotes, I’m betting that HUMC, gets that taking care of nurses IS taking care of patients!
Quoting Toni Fiore, MA, RN, CNAA, Executive Vice President for Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer:
Quoting Stephanie Goldberg, RN, MSN, Vice President of Nursing:
“We believe that education is the key to creating more well-developed practitioners”
“We have excellent preceptor programs in oncology, bone marrow transplant, and in women and children’s health and medical-surgical.”
In my opinion, when an organization spends time, money and energy on supporting nurses, they are investing in safe, quality, cost-effective care and healthy long-term careers! Brava to HUMC for their high standards and to IHI for promoting same.
* A “Nursing Shortage” refers to labor statistics that indicate there are not enough nurses to fill vacant positions. A “Shortage of Nursing Care” refers to a staffing shortage, where there are not enough nurses on duty to provide care.
Linda Aiken, PhD, FAAN, FRCN, RN, a researcher and professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, says. “There was a shortage about a decade ago. Today, that has changed. The number of RNs graduating has increased dramatically over the past decade, but many can’t find jobs.” (Excerpted from NPR piece: Need A Nurse? You May Have To Wait.)