Top Rhode Island Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
Rhode Island seems to be one of the states that is showing best practice in terms of addressing the nursing shortage. The health care community has put in place various strong initiatives to improve the situation through both recruitment and retention. If this continues, then the 20% national shortage predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will not affect the state at all.
Rhode Island has able to reduce its number of vacancies in health care fields by 20%. Currently, there are just 400 open positions, even though nursing is still the most common role within the healthcare industry. However, despite this success, Rhode Island is keeping its finger on the ball and adding more initiatives.
At present, enrollment at colleges in the state has grown by over 100%. This sets Rhode Island apart from almost all other states who are having to lower acceptance rates and are pushing students away. Although Rhode Island still does not have the capacity to accept all applicants, they are showing improvement.
Hospitals are creating retention programs, so that existing staff can further their qualifications and replace the retiring workforce. Many courses are now offered online and on-site, with hospitals working side by side with the various colleges and universities.
A number of institutions have been created to address any problems in Rhode Island as well. This has allowed for more externships to be available for students, as well as creating more varied opportunities. Area hospitals creating their own programs, particularly RN to BSN programs, are also incredibly beneficial. More students than expected are taking part in these. Similar programs are being created for master’s degrees as well, particularly in the high demand field of nursing administration.
The nursing shortage is expected to last for 20 years at least, and Rhode Island is committed to keeping its programs in place for the duration, thereby hopefully addressing the situation. They know that the average age for nurses in the state is 46, which means many are approaching retirement age and will need replacing.
One area that Rhode Island does seem to have to improve on is annual salary. The average, including bonuses, is just $50,000, whic is well below the national average. However, this is mainly because there are declining revenues in healthcare settings. On the other hand, large proportions of budgets are being spent on allowing working nurses to further their education at the expense of their employers.