More Nursing Faculty Needed
California colleges can train only about half of nurses needed in the state because of a shortage of nursing-education faculty, according to the California Nurses Association, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Deloras Jones, president and executive director of the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care in San Francisco, said, "Building educational capacity is our most urgent work-force need."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) last year announced a $90-million, five-year plan to increase college nursing faculty levels. Jones, whose organization helped draft a plan for the governor's proposal, said that funding can be used to:
- Recruit former nurses to teach part time;
- Develop loan-forgiveness programs for instructors earning advanced degrees; and
- Expand access to distance learning programs through the Internet.
In related news, a new high school that is part of the Sacramento City Unified School District -- Health Professions High -- was created in part to address the current and projected shortages of health professionals, the Sacramento Bee reports (Griffith , Sacramento Bee, 3/23).
The high school, which opened last fall, requires students to take a "rigorous science-laden curriculum" to give students a "solid head start in the health care fields of their choice," according to the Bee.
In addition, the school "also is poised to become a national model for developing a more diverse health care work force," as about a third of the students are Latino, 40% are black and the rest are white or Asian, the Bee reports (Griffith , Sacramento Bee, 3/23).
A partnership between Riverside Community Hospital and California State University-San Bernardino that will "augment the university's nursing program while providing the hospital with additional nurses" provides "one piece of the solution" to solving the state's nursing shortage, a Press-Enterprise editorial states. The editorial adds that the "huge challenge" of training enough nurses to meet the state's needs "will require a range of approaches" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/22).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.