Like many other states across the country Mississippi is experiencing a nursing shortage. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mississippi health care providers will experience a 22 percent vacancy rate in nursing positions by the year 2020, requiring more than 18,000 nurses to provide adequate patient care. The Mississippi nursing shortage was made even worse after Hurricane Katrina battered the south leaving a huge dent in the area’s healthcare system.
However, despite such drawbacks efforts are being made to reduce the nursing gap in local communities everywhere. One such recent effort was a fund-raising gala hosted by Johnson & Johnson. The Promise of Nursing for Mississippi gala is part of a public-awareness campaign — The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future — launched by Johnson & Johnson in February 2002. The multi-year, $30 million campaign is designed to enhance the image of the nursing profession, recruit new nurses and nurse educators, as well as to help retain nurses currently in the profession. Working in cooperation with various professional nursing organizations, schools, hospitals and other health care groups and providers, the Campaign focuses on promoting opportunities within nursing (RN to BSN) as well as increasing awareness of the value of the nursing profession to our overall society and health care community. Over the last four years these galas have generated more than $12 million dollars in much needed funds.
With 100 percent of the proceeds going toward Mississippi nursing school grants, faculty fellowships and student scholarships, these types of events demonstrate that working together hospitals, schools, Government, and corporations can make significant strides in shoring up this national crisis.