Workforce environment complicated by a critical nursing shortage

The nursing shortage that pervades the U.S. exhibits itself at all levels — local, state and national. No large metro or small town is immune — and the problem is most severe is rural areas. The current jobs downturn has disguised the problem — but the deficit remains real and serious.

The problem is not lack of interest in nursing as a career. Just the opposite. Across the U.S., qualified applicants far exceed capacity to educate them. The long-standing problem: insufficient facilities, student slots and faculty to train them. While nursing schools everywhere have scrambled to increase capacity, to prepare more nurses faster, the problem won’t be solved soon. Projections call for a nursing deficit through 2030.

Gero Nurse Prep from an owner/administrator perspective

Facilities that participated in the pilot project, Midwest Partners for Geriatric Nursing, reported these outcomes in common. Gero Prep training and Gerontological Nurse Certification:

  • raises RN skills, professionalism, job satisfaction and retention.
  • elevates quality in elder care.
  • fosters long-term operations success and care continuity.

Review from Peggy Fairbanks, Director of Nursing Leadership Development

“ What a difference this course makes. For me personally, it really enhanced my confidence, knowledge and critical thinking skills. I feel much more equipped to deliver top-notch care, and that’s a rewarding feeling. Gerontological board certification is a badge of quality.

We sponsored this training for RNs across our facilities in the Midwest. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Our nurses say it’s boosted their self-esteem, their job satisfaction, their level of care for the elders they serve.

It’s so much learning — with so many resources — all focused on current best practices. For our patients, it’s meant better quality care. At Vetter, we believe we owe it to our residents to become the best we can be. Earning certification is a big part of that continual process.”

Peggy Fairbanks, RN-BC
Director of Nursing Leadership Development
Vetter Health Services
33 facilities in 5 states:
Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas,
Missouri, Wyoming

Review from Glenn Van Ekeren, President, Vetter Health Services

“ Our passion is to continue to raise the bar on quality care and strive for excellence. That’s why — when the University of Nebraska Medical Center came to us — we jumped at the chance to participate.

By August 2011, 43 of our nurses had become board certified in gerontological nursing, and we intend to continue. This program is about excellence. In health care, in resident-staff relationships, in outstanding service. I recommend it highly. It’s A+.”

Glenn Van Ekeren
Vetter Health Services
33 facilities in 5 states:
Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas,
Missouri, Wyoming

Today’s Forum Discussion: Non-Pharm Pain Control

Hello Gero Nurse Prep Learners! We are having a great discussion in the Module 4 forum on non-pharmalogical pain control. I would love to see your thoughts on this topic! I am sure many of you have some great ideas that you can share. Maybe you can add to our thought about aromatherapy for pain? Log into and find us in the Module 4 forum. You could also leave a comment on this topic on our Facebook page! I hope to see you there! -Heidi-