COLLABORATION

Could this university collaboration help cure the US nursing shortage?

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Counteracting the US nursing shortage through university and business collaborations.

Earlier this year, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) brought attention to a national nursing shortage.

Often labelled as America’s most trusted professionals, nurses play pivotal roles in some of the world’s most hectic healthcare environments.

Partnering their skills with health professionals and health technologies daily, being a nurse demands continuous compassion, critical thinking capabilities, agile skill sets and a firm grasp of time management.

Therefore, a decline in skilled nurses cannot go unnoticed.

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“The US is projected to experience a shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) that is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age, and the need for health care grows. Compounding the problem is the fact that nursing schools across the country are struggling to expand capacity to meet the rising demand for the care given the national move toward healthcare reform,” AACN notes.

According to AACN’s report on 2018-2019 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, US nursing schools had turned away more than 75,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programmes in 2018 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom spaces and clinical preceptors; as well as budget constraints.

“Almost two-thirds of the nursing schools responding to the survey pointed to a shortage of faculty and/or clinical preceptors as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into their programmes,” the ACCN report adds.

Responding to the national decline of nurses in the US, a national provider of innovative healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services, Cross Country Healthcare has partnered up with a leader of caring science, Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing to help advance the nursing profession.

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Through collaborative research, educational and training activities, the partnership will be to jointly support nurses and their education through Florida Atlantic University (FAU) continuing educational programmes, scholarships, internships, residency and research opportunities.

“The nursing profession is rapidly evolving while remaining an incredibly tight employment market due to a growing demand for nursing skills and the ongoing shortage of talent.

“We look forward to working with FAU and their nursing leadership to develop and share critical resources, research and training support so nurses can better understand emerging trends, progress their skills and careers, and ultimately deliver the best possible patient care. There is simply no better partner than FAU, known for its excellence and philosophy of caring science, to achieve these goals,” Kevin Clark, the President and CEO of Cross Country Healthcare reveals in a media release.

Pledging US$10,000 to provide 10 scholarships to nursing students throughout 2020, Cross Country Healthcare hopes to counteract the national decline of nurses and to combat financial barriers that aspiring healthcare professionals at the Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing may be facing.

In their ongoing pursuit for partners that can help build upon their university nursing talent and their existing strengths in caring science, Dr Safiya George, Dean and Professor of FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing believes that they’ll continue to produce a generation of compassionate and agile healthcare professionals.

“As a leader in nursing and healthcare staffing, Cross Country Healthcare is an ideal partner to help advance the education, skills and careers of nurses across the country. We look forward to this collaboration and the promise of groundbreaking research initiatives, unmatched support and training programs that will further the nursing profession in many impactful ways,” George notes.

Through the partnership, the university also hopes to pursue new, collaborative research, including shared use of specialised scientific equipment, and to complete transformative co-authored papers, op-eds, blogs and other articles aimed at advancing and prioritising the nursing profession.

With high hopes on the horizon from Cross Country Healthcare and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, could it be a rise in collaborations between universities and businesses that unveils the ultimate cure to the US nursing epidemic?