Fresno Bee Calls for More Nurses Training
California's nursing shortage "threatens only to get worse" unless more nurses are trained to enter the profession, a Fresno Bee editorial states. However, the Bee notes that the state is "considering eliminating its undergraduate nursing program," and community colleges are "turning away an estimated 5,000 qualified applicants because they don't have the money or instructors to teach them." Moreover, the editorial notes that the average age of a California nurse is 46, "a sign that the state is leaning excessively on its weary veterans and failing to train the next generation of healers." A recent survey provides further evidence that the nursing shortage will worsen, as "one in five nurses, fed up with the politics and pressure, may quit within five years." And nurses continue to leave the state faster than California "imports" new nurses, the editorial says. The "high costs" of nursing education -- about $12,000 per year at a community college and $21,600 per year at a California state university -- "make it challenging for higher education, absent more help from the Legislature, to meet the demand," the Bee notes. The Bee concludes, "The market won't magically solve this problem. Neither will a new regulation. It will take more colleges training more nurses" (Fresno Bee, 5/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.