From Medscape Nursing:
from Nursing Economics
Alison P. Smith
Numerous government, corporate, and local entities have been organizing around growing concerns for the health of the nursing profession, the dependent health of the health care industry, and ultimately the safety and well-being of patients. Their efforts and concerns have focused on a variety of strategies to draw individuals to the profession of nursing, strengthen training programs, and make them more accessible. We have also seen a proliferation of scholarships funded by local health foundations and federal grants. Many hospitals have been scrambling to sharpen their recruitment efforts and distinguish themselves with clever lures. Others have also enhanced retention efforts. Fewer have actually examined the fundamental issues within the work environment. The American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program clearly outlines a path to becoming an employer of choice, but only 58 organizations have earned that honor as of October 2002. All of this recent activity and general public awareness seems to suggest that this shortage took us by surprise, as if some variable changed suddenly and unpredictably. Obviously, this shortage did not come out the blue, but the realities of the shortage are beginning to be experienced firsthand by staff, institutions, and patients. The country appears to be lining up behind nursing and pushing it forward with tools like policy, funding, respect, and thanks. While this feels like the verge of crisis, it may well be the verge of professional prominence for nursing.
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