|New RNs Stay Close To Home, Impact Rural Health Care|
|Nation - Workplace|
|TS-Si News Service|
|Sunday, 11 December 2011 15:00|
New York, NY, USA. Registered nurses (RNs) belong to one of least mobile professions, with serious implications for access to health care for people in rural areas.
Researchers say this lack of geographic mobility means that hospitals and other health care settings must rely heavily on locally-trained RNs and find it difficult to recruit nurses when there are not enough in the local area.
The Registered Nurses (RNs) Work Project is a study of newly-licensed registered nurses. Recruitment may be a particular problem in rural areas where there are fewer schools of nursing. The study took this into account by performing a cross-sectional survey of 1,765 RNs in Metropolitan Statistical Areas and rural areas in 15 states. The findings appear in the journal Health Affairs.
Christine T. Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor at the College of Nursing, New York University;
Sean P. Corcoran, PhD, associate professor of educational economics at New York University; and
Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor at the School of Nursing, University at Buffalo.According to the study:
The lack of geographic mobility is higher for nurses than for most other professions.
Among RNs with bachelor's degrees
The study authors recommend four policy changes to expand the supply of nurses in underserved areas:
"Given the strong tendency for nurses to practice close to where they attended nursing school and to attend nursing school near where they graduated high school, it's not surprising that parts of the country with few or no schools of nursing are struggling to find nurses," said Christine Kovner, whi directed the project with Carol Brewer.
"We did not investigate the reasons for nurses' lack of mobility, but this reality suggests that more needs to be done in areas with few nursing schools in order to meet the health care needs of those communities."
FundingThe Registered Nurses (RNs) Work Project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
CitationThe Relative Geographic Immobility Of New Registered Nurses Calls For New Strategies To Augment That Workforce. Christine T. Kovner, Sean P. Corcoran, and Carol S. Brewer. Health Affairs 2011; 30(12): 2293-2300. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0108
Little is known about registered nurses’ geographic mobility after they earn their first professional degree and become licensed to practice. Through a cross-sectional mailed survey of newly licensed registered nurses in fifteen states, we found that 52.5 percent work within forty miles of where they attended high school. Our complementary analysis of Census Bureau data shows that next to teaching, nursing is one of the least mobile professions for women, for reasons that remain unclear. To ensure that underserved areas have an adequate workforce of registered nurses, policy makers should expand the number of educational programs in these areas; fund programs that provide incentives to young people from these areas to attend nursing programs; consider supporting extension programs from accredited nursing schools; and review admission policies for nursing programs and the financial aid they offer. If states find it difficult to retain out-of-state graduates, giving preference to in-state applicants may make sense. Finally, programs and policies that offer financial incentives to attract registered nurses to underserved areas, such as the National Health Service Corps and the Area Health Education Centers, are critically important. When sufficiently funded, such programs could serve to offset the low mobility of new registered nurses that we observed.
Keywords: workforce issues, nurses.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 11 December 2011 14:02|