191230 Solving the Nursing Shortage: Best and Worst Practices, Practical Solutions

Monday, October 27, 2008: 4:30 PM

Helen Moss, MA , University of Oregon, Labor Education and Research Center, Portland, OR
Over the last few years hospitals have been struggling with a "nursing shortage" that is projected to get much worse in the next decade. As a solution, policies and funding have been directed at increasing the number of new nurses. The real problem is that there is a shortage of nurses willing to work in the hospital industry given the current situation of stagnant wages and deteriorating working conditions. Policies aimed at increasing the number of new nurses will not succeed if the new graduates don't stay. The short and long-term solution is to improve wages and working conditions, especially staffing levels, in order to retain the current and new nurses, and to recruit back the nurses who have left hospital nursing (including LPNs). Adequate numbers of competent bedside caregivers is key to quality patient care and the only way to attract and keep nurses. In this presentation I will discuss recent research and policy alternatives that suggest new directions for recruiting and retaining nurses.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Analyze the situation of hospital nurses and the "shortage" 2) Discuss current policy directed at solving the problem, and some alternatives that are not widely considered but perhaps should be.

Keywords: Nurses, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: There is no conflice of interest. Am an instructor in the Labor, Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon. Research, write, prepare and deliver courses and workshops on this and other topics including health and safety.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.