Top Minnesota Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
The nursing shortage in Minnesota has been in existence since 2003. This is having such a huge impact on human services in Minnesota itself. Every patient who is added to the workload of the existing nurses increases their chance of dying by 7%.
A study took place in 2003, which was followed up by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It demonstrated that there are a number of factors causing the decline in the nursing workforce. The main factor is the fact that the current workforce is aging and retiring. Secondly, the graduation trends are stagnating severely. There are currently 22 schools in the state accredited through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, yet some 1,152 students had to be turned away. To counteract some of these, the state has started to offer better salaries for their nursing workforce, hoping that this will attract more nurses and reduce the turnover that is experienced now.
The need for nurse educators is perhaps the most significant of all. Indeed, the fact that there is no one to teach tomorrow’s workforce means that not enough students are graduating to become nurses. Additionally, many of the teachers who are currently employed are approaching retirement age. The state is trying to implement incentives to encourage the current workforce to achieve their master’s degrees.
Another important factor is the complexity of both clients and systems. There are too many policy, system and procedure changes, which means nurses are struggling to keep up. Furthermore, the actual health needs of patients are very complex, with people with serious illnesses surviving longer than before. Since hospitals are now finding that they have significant budget constraints, they are pushing to get people out of hospital as quick as possible. The stress of these factors has led to many nurses choosing alternative careers, for instance in the insurance industry.
A number of stimulus packages have been offered by the federal government. Although this is good, many believe that too much of the grants are earmarked for information technology, designed to improve information sharing. Although this is good, it also means that existing systems will continue to get more and more complex, again leading to stress and more.
The average salary for registered nurses in Minnesota is $73,770, which is above the national average. This does make the state quite attractive for those seeking employment. Those with the highest degrees of education also earn the highest salaries.