Summit to Discuss Nursing Faculty Shortage in La.

Officials representing the nursing industry in Louisiana are meeting here today to discuss the shortage of qualified personnel in their field and what they call a dire lack of nursing school faculty. 

According to the Louisiana Hospital Association, the state's nursing shortage is at an all-time high with an estimated 4,663 unfilled nursing positions. On the nursing education side, 7.5 percent of faculty positions are filled with individuals who do not hold a master's degree or Ph.D. Because of these faculty shortages and the lack of funds to hire more qualified faculty, 1,690 qualified students were turned away from Louisiana nursing schools last year. 

The 2009 Nursing Education Capacity Summit is bringing together teams from across the United States today to discuss solutions to the nursing shortage. 

Louisiana's team includes Barbara Morvant, executive director of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing; Patricia Johnson, president of the Louisiana Organization of Nurse Executives; Norann J. Planchock, dean of nursing at Northwestern State University and president of the Louisiana Council of Administrators of Nursing Education; Nancy McPherson, Louisiana state director, American Association of Retired Persons; and KarenSue Zoeller, vice president of workforce development for the Louisiana Hospital Association. 

"We know having enough qualified nurses is critical to delivering high quality, cost effective healthcare, especially as Boomers age and experience more complex health conditions," said Susan Reinhard, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute and chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America. "Like their colleagues, Louisiana will benefit from the successes of other states that have already implemented programs to reverse this shortage." 

Credit: CityBusiness Staff 

(Copyright 2009 Dolan Media Newswires) 

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