I agree with the OP - nursing education is at a disadvantage when compared to physician education. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest is FUNDING. There are Federal subsidies for "medical" education and this is what makes those residencies possible. Hospitals receive $ for providing a home to medical residencies. This funding has been drastically cut over the last decade or so, but it is still enough to make it very worthwhile for the hospital.
Outside of the few remaining diploma programs, there is NO subsidy
for economic advantage for hospitals to provide clinical training for nurses. Even for diploma programs, they don't actually get any money.... just gets folded into their CMS cost report that is used as a basis for reimbursement.
In actuality, medical school may become much shorter in the future. In the near term, this will come about by eliminating a lot of the redundancy... some courses are actually pretty much duplicated in the traditional style of curricula. There are pilot programs that have already reduced med school to 3 years. Progressive medical educators have also expressed admiration (srsly) of nursing academia for being open to trying new approaches for nursing education - and said that medical education should do the same. (shock, right?) http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upl..._final_rpt.pdf UT to Shorten Road to Medical School: Austinist
There are two other important considerations. First, we are not talking about the same type of numbers here... at any given time, nursing school enrollments are huge compared to medical schools. The financial burden of trying to arrange internships or residencies for that many students??? Secondly, the type of student is very different. Med students are far more academically advanced than the average pre-licensure nursing student but they are much younger. The average nursing student needs to get out and begin earning a living as quickly as possible.
I encourage everyone to get involved with ANA & your state nursing org & become familiar with these issues... and help us fight for needed change!