More Nursing School Applicants Denied Admission, Shortage Increasing

Armen Hareyan's picture

Despite a growing shortage of nurses nationwide, the number ofapplicants denied admission to nursing schools has increased sixfoldsince 2002 because of a lack of instructors, according to a reportreleased Monday by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Thereport, called "What Works: Healing the Healthcare Staffing Shortage,"also found that by 2010, the number of registered nurses in the U.S.will begin to decline, a situation that has not occurred for decades.The report found that half of all new nurses leave their first jobwithin two years, also noting that every 1% increase in nurse turnovercosts a hospital about $300,000 annually. The report found that thenurse work force "in general is dissatisfied" for three primaryreasons: excessive paperwork, heavy workloads and inadequate staffing(Wessel, Orlando Sentinel, 7/10).


Bill Dracos,director of PWC's Health Advisory Practice, said that nationally,"despite the growing importance of nurses in the health care continuum,there is a lack of broad-reaching financial incentives to bolsternursing education." He added, "Hospitals receive significant federalfunding for medical education, but they are not similarly subsidizedfor training nurses" (Roberson, Dallas Morning News, 7/10).

Thereport also found that the number of doctors in the U.S. will continueto increase but that there are "serious misdistributions of physiciansby specialty and geography." Doctors who complete their residencytraining are more likely to pursue higher-paying specialties thanprimary care, while 20% of U.S. residents live in places with a primarycare shortage, the report found (Orlando Sentinel, 7/10).

DeedieRoot, managing director of PWC's Health Advisory Practice, said,"Unfilled positions and continuous turnover of staff are stressing thefinancial and cultural fabric of health care organizations" (Dallas Morning News, 7/10).

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