Nursing education in Kansas helping to avoid nursing shortage
As Medical Training Magazine has reported several times before, the nursing field is experiencing a shortage as the baby boomer generation enters retirement and fewer young graduates move into this field. However,while the rest of the country is struggling with increasing health care job openings and less people to fill them, Kansas has been able to avoid this staffing shortfall.
With the support of northeast Kansas colleges, Topeka’s two largest hospitals- Stormont Vail and University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus- remain fully staffed. Nursing school enrollment at schools such as Baker University and Washburn University hasn’t dropped and admission numbers are as high as they were five years ago. Both programs also help students transition into the workforce.
Maintaining a high number of graduates will be key going forward for the state to continue avoiding shortages. The Kansas Department of Labor projects registered nurses will have the most openings due to growth among all health care careers. They project 36,955 registered nurses will be employed in Kansas by 2020, which indicates a 25% increase from 2010.
Most Kansas hospitals take a proactive approach to encourage students to pursue medical careers. Most of the time, on-site training starts while the potential employees are still in school. Washburn University and Baker University both place students in hospitals around the Kansas area for internships and clinicals which are mutually beneficial for both parties. Students get the chance to gain hands-on experience and network with potential employers while the hospitals get staffing help and give them an opportunity to observes students before employing them.