I recently came across a survey published in April that was conducted by the Michigan Center for Nursing, a state-funded agency begun in 2003 to analyze nursing trends. The 23 page report stated some alarming facts many of which point out that not only are current nurses too few, many older nurses are getting ready to retire. Making matters worse Michigan’s nursing schools turned away 4,298 qualified applicants last year, even though the state will face a nursing shortage in a few years. The schools had to turn away students because:
* They didn’t have enough nurses with a Masters in Nursing to train the applicants;
* They need more links with health care institutions where nurses learn clinical skills;
* They lacked classroom space, laboratory facilities, equipment and supplies.
Still, Michigan schools are graduating more nurses — 800 more than in 2003, when the last state survey was conducted, the report said. Last year, 4,756 nurses graduated from Michigan nursing programs. And more RNs are utilizing online platforms to earn their BSN, MSN and other nursing degrees. Unfortunately, even though the schools are graduating more nurses, it’s still not enough to stop or even curtail the nursing shortage downward spiral. The survey found that 42% of Michigan’s full-time nursing school faculty is 55 or older; 14% expect to retire in three years, and 19% in five years.
The survey, conducted by Lansing-based Public Sector Consultants Inc., was based on responses from 49 Michigan nursing schools and 23,000 registered nurses.