NURSING SHORTAGE: State Intervention Needed, Report Suggests
Although California's nursing shortage could seriously detract from California's health care delivery system, the state's education programs are not equipped to boost the supply of nurses, according to a report released by the California Strategic Planning Committee for Nursing (CSPCN). The report, presented last week at the first meeting of the advisory committee established by the state Assembly to address the issue, pinpoints shortage areas and potential shortage growth through 2006. CSPCN Project Director Ellen Lewis said, "We hope that the ... advisory committee will take advantage of our report's comprehensive data and we are dedicated to working with them to solve the state's critical nursing shortage." Among the report's findings:
- About 10% of all nursing positions statewide are unfilled;
- Through 2006, there will be a projected shortfall of more than 17,000 nursing professionals;
- California has the lowest ratio of RNs to population in the nation;
- 50% of the state's RNs are recruited from other states and countries;
- State education programs are fully enrolled and must deny admission to qualified candidates.