More nurses needed
Published: Sunday, July 1, 2007 at 11:24 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 1, 2007 at 11:24 a.m.
I have seen several articles and letters in The Sun recently dealing with the state of nursing education and the nursing shortage here in Florida. This past May I graduated from the SFCC Associate of Science in Nursing program and am now employed at Shands at UF as a nurse on Ward 75.
When I got into SFCC's program I was one of 120 people admitted out of about 400 who applied. The main reason for such a large number of students being turned away from nursing programs is a lack of teachers. It is difficult to find qualified teachers for nursing programs as most of the faculty are required to have a master's in nursing. To work at a place like Santa Fe as an instructor, nursing or otherwise, one can expect to make around $50,000 annually depending on many factors.
So nurses with a master's degree can teach at Santa Fe for $50,000, or they can work as a nurse practitioner and make upwards of $100,000 annually, depending on their specialty, where they work, etc. There is no motivation, aside from altruism, to become a nursing educator instead of working as a nurse practitioner.
Many of my teachers while I was in school worked part-time as teachers and part-time as nurses in the hospital because their salaries from teaching were simply not enough.
So, to solve the nursing shortage, we need more nurses. To train more nurses, we need more teachers. To attract more nursing teachers, we need to pay them more. This is the reality and until we fix this problem, any other measures we use to bring an end to the nursing shortage will be akin to sticking our thumbs in a dike that is ready to burst.
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