Top Pennsylvania Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
As the baby boom generation is getting older, the demand for nurses is growing exponentially. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 20% nursing shortage by next year across the country. However, it is believed that the shortage will be worst in Pennsylvania.
There are various reasons for this, one of them being that Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are being phased out. The intention of healthcare settings in Pennsylvania is to have registered nurses on board in the state. However, LPN roles still exist at present, and there are not sufficient of those employed either.
It is believed that, by 2020, there will be a vacancy rate of 41% in the field of nursing in Pennsylvania. This means there will be a need for some 54,000 nurses in order to meet the needs of the population of the state as well. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is home to some 155 medically underserved areas. This is currently affecting 64.53% of the population and this number is only set to rise. Various other problems exist, however. For instance, there are as many as 36 schools accredited through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, but they were unable to accept 2,424 qualified students due to lack of faculty staff. Additionally, there are not sufficient Advanced Practice Nurses, or students trying to achieve a master’s degree.
As a result, various projects have been put into place in the state. Various campaigns are being organized to raise awareness about the future of nursing. This is hoped to help make the profession more interesting, and particularly the profession of Nurse Educators. Furthermore, it is hoped that these initiatives will help in terms of nurse retention.
A significant issue for nurses across the country is that they have very low job satisfaction. They are often treated with a lack of respect by doctors and other medical staff hierarchically above them, and this is driving qualified staff out of the profession. Hence, one strong initiative in Pennsylvania is to build respect for nurses, so that everybody understands that they are the backbone of health care provision.
The average salary for a registered nurse in Pennsylvania is $62,000, which is below the national average. The highest salaries are enjoyed by those with the highest education, which is another incentive to study towards bachelor’s or even master’s degrees. However, salary is something that the state is addressing, too.