The nursing shortage in the United States is really pushing the healthcare industry to try drastic measures to fill in the gaps. In Rhode Island, health service organizations are going so far as to hire from overseas, shelling out the costs of a recruitment firm plus overseas relocation expenses, and even paying the costs for the foreign recruit to obtain a practising license in the States. Does this sound like throwing money away? Indeed it does.
The problem is not the shortage of nurses; it is retaining them. There are quite a few nurses over the years who have quit the profession because they were basically overworked and woefully under-compensated. We all have budget cuts to thank for that. Nurses were spread so thin that they became tired and frustrated and quit. Spending money to recruit overseas is simply a quick fix that will do nothing to solve the shortage of nurses for the future. Measures have to be taken to lure back these “retired” nurses who quit in disgust over the lack of empathy and compensation for their work. Rhode Island is at least trying some new methods to keep their residents who are studying for their nursing degree – whether they are conducting their education in the state or out – to stick with the state once they graduate and set to work. The state already has a reward program for nurses and now they are providing added incentives for those who are borrowing money through Stafford Loans. If you’re after money fast and you’re not sure which loan you should be going for. Check out our recommendations below.
To be eligible for these incentives, candidates must be registered nurses or a licensed practical nurse in Rhode Island who cares directly for patients at a licensed healthcare institution. Quite a few people who get their nursing degree apply for federal Stafford loans to help pay for their education. As part of the incentive program Rhode Island is offering, these nurses could qualify for principal reductions and interest rate decreases on their loans. Some may realize no interest rates for several years and others will have some of the principal of the loan forgiven.
It sounds like Rhode Island is moving a few steps in the right direction in making it easier for nurses to attain their education and keep them in the state at the same time. In a period where more and more of the population of Rhode Island is getting older, these incentives are coming at a great time. The nursing shortage needs to be filled soon to keep up with the rising demand for healthcare.