The Kansas nursing shortage has had a significant impact on the working conditions that RNs face, such as an increase in the amount of patients assigned, long hours, and salary compression. The shortage also compromises the quality of care given to patients and has been the cause of many accidents, illnesses, injuries, and even death.
The future needs of Kansas nursing are expected to increase greatly as current RNs retire and the baby boomers grow older and need more medical care. The nursing shortage in Kansas is expected to get worse. According to a study conducted by the Kansas Department of Labor, 11,350 new RNs will be needed by the year 2010 to keep up with the demand of nurses in Kansas. This number will be very difficult to reach because nursing schools in Kansas only graduate approximately 1,800 new nurses annually.
There are many things that need to done to address the nursing shortage in Kansas and promote students to pursue Kansas nursing careers. For example, work environments need to be improved to retain current nurses and recruit new nurses. Nursing programs must also be improved to accept and graduate more nurses.
The U.S. Department of Education has promoted a program that helps establish curricula in primary and secondary schools to support the “Health Career Paths Model”. This will help prepare students to enter nursing schools with the necessary prerequisite education to lead successful Kansas nursing careers.
The Kansas State Nurses Association is dedicated to helping increase the number of RNs and enrollment in nursing programs. There are many nursing programs around the state of Kansas and online nursing programs. Online nursing programs are becoming more popular to avoid waiting lists and being rejected from Kansas campus based colleges and universities. These programs allow students to complete general and core courses online before completing their required clinical rounds at a medical facility.