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Nurse Education Programs Making Strides in Closing California’s Impending RN Shortage

Although California still faces a relative shortage of registered nurses compared with national averages, the state’s Nurse Education Initiative has helped drive more students into nurse education programs.

A recent report from the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency found that the number of RNs in the state increased by nearly 10,000 in 2008, despite the economic downturn.

A California Healthline Special Report by Pat McConahay includes comments from:

  • Stephanie Leach, assistant secretary for policy and program development at the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency;
  • Judy Papenhausen, director of the nursing school at California State University-San Marcos; and
  • David Welch, board member of the California Nurses Association labor union.

Advocates say the recession has prompted many RNs to delay retirement and some hospitals to cut back on hiring. However, they note that the demand for nurses will remain high as the state’s population continues to age (McConahay, California Healthline, 6/22).

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