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Letter to the Editor

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

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August 22, 2001

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

Dear Editor:

The drastic shortage of nurses for the next decade is well documented. What to do to solve this supply and demand problem is the million dollar question for the health care industry. The first step might be to educate prospective nurses about the great personal satisfaction and the many different types of career paths available to and attainable by a nursing professional.

Another step both to retain current RNs and to make the profession more attractive to prospective nurses might be to offer more "job perks". One benefit I have found to have a significant impact on employee retention and new employee hiring is the offering of educational benefits, including tuition reimbursement, to current and new employees. By offering educational programs, agencies are able to retain their employees, promote from within, lower recruitment and training costs, and increase worker productivity

One problem with offering educational benefits, however, is that many RNs are unable to attend traditional college degree programs and take advantage of these educational opportunities because they have limited free time due to their rotating schedules and numerous hours of overtime.

Electronic Learning has eliminated this "no-time" problem for nurses by offering online RN-to-BSN degree programs that make it possible for licensed registered nurses to earn their Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing entirely online with no classroom attendance required. Nurses' benefit because online accredited RN-to-BSN degree programs do not interfere with work responsibilities; learning their BSN can offer better career opportunities within their workplace; and the online program creates a work-life balance that is essential for today's professional nursing force. Additionally nurses can now continue to advance their knowledge and skills by earning Master's degrees online. Agencies, nurses, and patients all benefit from these online programs because employees become even more skilled.

I recommend we take advantage of these online educational opportunities that can benefit nurses, patients, and health care agencies alike.

Steve Valley
Public Relations Manager
The University Alliance
Tampa, Florida

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