Nursing Education and Practice: Building Partnerships to Ensure a Stable Nursing Workforce in Hawai’i
Written by Sandra A. LeVasseur Associate Director, Research Hawaii State Center for Nursing February 2006
Nursing Education and Practice: Building Partnerships to Ensure a Stable Nursing Workforce in Hawaii Report from the Hawaii State Center for Nursing
The Nursing Education and Practice Collaborative of the Hawaii State Center for Nursing is committed to a shared vision of education and practice in the State of Hawaii to ensure a stable and competent nursing workforce. The collaborative is dedicated to generating innovative and sustainable solutions for assuring a stable and highly competent nursing workforce across the continuum of healthcare delivery. The Education and Practice Collaborative is comprised of representatives from key sectors of nursing in the State of Hawaii with a shared mission and vested interest to attract, educate, and maintain a qualified nursing workforce. This mission presents an opportunity for collaboration to increase the supply of highly competent registered nurses and expand educational capacity through integrated education / practice partnerships. The primary objective of the group is: Build partnerships that integrate education and practice to ensure that today’s and tomorrow’s nurses meet the healthcare needs of the people of Hawaii. This background paper provides an overview of current national and local nursing workforce issues that impact nursing education and practice; and identifies a number of strategies and initiatives found to be useful in other settings. This overview is underpinned by the Joint Task Force Report of the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) and American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) published in 2003. At the same time, we in Hawaii must confront our own specific issues and develop our own solutions to the current nursing shortage. A Nursing Shortage in an Increasingly Complex Healthcare Environment Significant advances in biomedical science and in the complexity of health care, coupled with a worsening nursing shortage and numerous reports of unsafe and inadequate patient care, are challenging both nursing education and nursing practice to look for innovative approaches to increase and maintain a qualified and competent nursing workforce (Health Care’s Human Crisis:The American Nursing Shortage, Kimball, 2002; Cultural Transformation in Healthcare, Kimball, 2005; Long, 2004; Designing the 21st Century Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2005). A number of nursing shortages have occurred in the past. However, as Berliner and Ginzberg (2002) point out previous nursing shortages resulted from a mismatch between the demands of the market and the difficulties healthcare organizations encountered in raising wages and the willingness of new graduates to work for those wages. Today’s nursing workforce problems are more complex and driven by fundamental demographic changes. Of these, there are three separate, but related, demographic changes occurring; a decline in the number of new nurses entering the workforce, high turnover (55% to 61%) rates of new nurses changing jobs, and an aging nursing workforce that is retiring or leaving the workforce early (Casey et al., 2004; Roche et al., 2004). These shifts are happening at a time when the population is aging and the demand in all sectors of healthcare is increasing. The 76 million strong baby-boom generation now ranges in age from 40 to 59, and already shows signs of stressing the resources of our healthcare system. Over the next thirty years, this generation will require significant amounts of healthcare for chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular
diseases and stroke; diabetes; respiratory diseases; cancer), acute illnesses (heart attack), and end-oflife care. In addition, the chronic disease burden, and need for care, is increasing for people of...