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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor on "The Nursing Shortage: Is This Cycle Different?"

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August 10, 2001

in response by Jacqueline E. Center to topic The Nursing Shortage: Is This Cycle Different? (Jan. 31, 2001)

Dear Editor:

I write in response to the recently posted topic of the Nursing Shortage. I feel strongly that another way to recruit more nurses would be for a least one hospital in each geographical area to introduce a hiring incentive for nurse aides, offering to pay for an aide's tuition in a nursing program provided the aide agrees to work for that facility for 2-3 years upon completion of the nursing program. The reason I feel so strongly about this is because I am currently enrolled in college, completing the prerequisites needed to enter a local ADN program. I have found it to be very difficult to pay for tuition. Others in my same position have the same problem; we have discussed this matter and agree that paying the tuition is the biggest challenge in completing a nursing program. I am married and have two children, the oldest is in his freshman year of college.

I have a great desire and determination to finish these prerequisite courses, and an even greater desire to be accepted into the nursing program. Unfortunately other circumstances often get in the way; for example I may have to sit out a semester or two until income tax rolls around again or until we can foresee another way of "conjuring up" some more money for tuition.

If one healthcare agency in an area could begin a tuition payment program, and other agencies in the area would follow suit, I think they would find that they could meet at least some of the demand for more nurses right in their own facilities. This is just a sincere thought that I think should be taken into consideration.

Jacqueline E. Center
Heart Hospital of Austin
Austin, Texas

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