A Comparison of Policy Strategies between the United States and Global Nations Designed to Improve the Nursing Shortage

Monday, 7 July 2008
Patricia A. Kiladis, MS, RN , Nursing, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Learning Objective 1: Compare and contrast the nursing shortage in the United States with other nations in the world

Learning Objective 2: Discuss proposed policy solutions as they relate to the geographic regions

The contemporary nursing shortage is expected to reach crisis proportion during the next decades. In the United States the projected demand for nurses by 2020 is 750,000 more than the supply currently produced. In order to offset these problems, educational institutions need to strategize initiatives to increase capacity. In a recent pilot study, conducted by the author, ten key informants, leaders from education, practice and policy, were asked to identify 'best practice' states engaged in policy solutions specifically aimed at increasing capacity. Findings from the project clearly defined the importance of collaborative partnerships, workforce centers, leadership, evaluation data, innovative use of technology and legislative mandates as key elements in ameliorating the shortage. The policy mandates enacted into law increased funds for faculty recruitment and retention; funded student scholarships; and provided monies for innovation in technology. The nursing shortage predicament is not limited to the United States. Worldwide nations are seeing a decreased ratio between nurses and the populations they serve. The question is whether the causes of the nursing shortage between the U.S. and their global counterparts are similar and whether policy solutions from the pilot study have applicability throughout the world. The International Council of Nurses in conjunction with the Florence Nightingale International Foundation studied the cause of the international nursing shortage and proposed policy interventions. The result of their findings are compared and contrasted with the pilot project for this poster presentation.