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New program aimed at cutting nursing shortage

JACKSON — The Mississippi Hospital for Restorative Care, a division of Baptist Medical Center, in partnership with Mississippi College School of Nursing, Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce and Hinds Community College Foundation, has kicked off the Mississippi Geriatric Dedicated Education Unit Initiative (MGDEU). Baptist and MC joined with other partners in Mississippi to participate in the “Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future” (PIN).

In an effort to reverse the nursing shortage across the United States, this unique national initiative is being put in place to provide funding on the local level for developing strategies for creating and sustaining a viable nursing workforce.

Baptist and MC School of Nursing have been selected to be a part of this innovative partnership, along with Hinds Community College School of Nursing, University of Mississippi School of Nursing, University of Mississippi Hospitals and Clinics, St. Dominic Memorial Hospital, North Mississippi Medical Center, Itawamba Community College and the Mississippi Health Care Foundation (Long Term Care Association).

The program trains staff nurses as clinical facilitators, enabling them to step out of their traditional roles and expand their job to include that of instructor. In an innovative model of teaching, nursing students will experience first-hand the skill and reality of nursing to this unique community of geriatric patients.


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About Wally Northway


  1. There is no nursing shortage. The problem is caused by executives and administrators cutting staff in order to increase profit and bonuses. If you’re entering the nursing field, don’t be surprised at the line of applicants in front of you. These organizations are lobbying and pushing propaganda at the behest of executives and administrators not to meet demand, but to totally over saturate the field in order to further decrease wages. Ask a nurse. Don’t ask an administrator, executive, or this organization.

  2. There is a maldistribution of nurses across this country. While you may not currently see shortages of nurses in metropolitan hospitals, we see significant gaps in rural parts of the country and in special fields such as geriatric nursing (every long term care organization in the country struggles keeping nurses), public health, school based health, psychiatric and mental health, home health, community clinics, etc. There may not be a shortage of med-surg nurses anywhere at the moment given the economy but once that improves we will see nurses leaving the field again due to retirement and other options. Most of the nurses that are filling jobs right now are experienced nurses, those with years of practice that can adapt to any situation to become employed. When their spouses lost jobs across the country these experienced nurses came back to work or they are working more hours than before.

    For newly trained nurses, they are being left out right now — but they could get jobs if they broaden their viewpoint about WHERE they can work. Nurses just out of school believe (as do many) that they have to have 3-5 years in med-surg before they can do anything else; if that is the belief then yes, they will not find a job right now. If they are willing to work in fields that are less obvious, but no less challenging (in some cases more challenging) then they will not have a problem.

    Additionally, the shortage has always been a future prediction, not a current problem in some areas. If you look at the demographics across this country, the average age of the nurse is 48. With fewer nurses being trained (due to fewer faculty to train them, bottlenecks in clinical placement, fewer scholarships), we will have a replacement rate of 1:3 — meaning that 3 nurses will retire and there will only be one trained and ready to take their place. Right now, in public health, the average of the public health nurse is 55. That PH nurse has 30 years of experience, and there are few in the pipeline that can step in and do that work. If you look closely at the shortage data, you find that the work that is being done now is to impact the next 10 to 15 years, not tomorrow.

    Become informed about the issue, don’t react to your own personal situation.

  3. We’ve seen nursing homes laying off LPN’s and they certainly aren’t hiring RN’s. Not because RN’s aren’t qualified, but because RN’s require greater pay. I’ll buy the argument about poor distribution, but rural areas are also laying off nurses. I’m sure it’s a cycle in all areas, over-supply for a while, under-supply for a while. And one thing is true, for profit nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and organizations servicing those are motivated by… profit and a sure way to increase profit is to decrease expenses. And, a sure way to decrease a major expense, such as wages is to increase the supply of nurses. Coincidenlty the one number that your missing in all those that you share is the most important to change the “problem”. Pay. Pay will reveal the most accurate truth about the supply of nurses in YOUR AREA (that is where you live). We’re seeing wages drop, hours drop, layoffs, and the number of patients that nurses are expected to care for go up. So, I say again, to those interested in entering the field, talk to those working in the field… the nurses. Only nurses will give you accurate information. Nothing personal.

  4. Jazmine Davis

    I am a RN-BSN student at Mississippi College and I am doing a paper on Nursing Shortage and we have to find a organization to attend to get information on it. How can I find out more information about this organization such as when they have meetings and what all this organization consist of.

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