Back

The Healthcare Skills Gap: How Salem University’s Nursing Programs Are Helping to Close the Gap and Address the U.S. Nurse Shortage

Posted July 29, 2020

Category: blog, Nursing, Online Education

The Healthcare Skills Gap: How Salem University’s Nursing Programs Are Helping to Close the Gap and Address the U.S. Nurse Shortage

It’s no secret that nurses are integral to our healthcare system — they are right there with their patients from the time they step into a medical facility to the moment they leave, caring for their physical and emotional needs. Nurses play such a vital role that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reports the nursing profession as one of the top three careers in terms of the number of new jobs projected to be created through 2028. With an increasing aging population needing access to healthcare and a wave of nurses hitting retirement age, the need for skilled nurses is greater than ever.

And yet, the United States is facing a nursing shortage. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that the current enrollment increases in entry-level baccalaureate programs is still not sufficient to meet the projected demand, especially for higher-level positions like nursing faculty, nurse researchers, and nurse administrators. Furthermore, a survey by CareerBuilder.com found that 56 percent of healthcare employers currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates.

In addition, there is a growing push for registered nurses to expand their education. The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) calls for at least two-thirds of the nurse workforce to hold baccalaureate or higher degrees in nursing. A committee by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation made a similar recommendation, citing a study that found “new BSN graduates to have significantly higher levels of preparation in evidence-based practice, research skills, and in areas such as teamwork, collaboration, and practice.”

All of this fuels a drive not just for skilled nurses, but for comprehensive educational programs to train the next generation of registered nurses, nurse administrators, nurse executives, nurse educators, and more.

Salem University is helping to close the gap by providing online degree programs that educate  qualified nursing candidates and prepare current nurses to step into leadership roles:

  • RN to BSN — More important than learning concepts out of a book is learning from those with experience in the field, and that’s exactly what Salem University offers. Our RN-BSN degree completion program is designed by nurses for nurses and focuses on experiential learning that can often be accomplished on the job and in communities.
  • Master of Science in Nursing — A key factor in addressing the nursing shortage is having experienced registered nurses move into roles as educators and administrators. Our MSN program builds on the education and experience you already have and allows you to specialize in either nursing education or nursing administration.

Now, more than ever, we need skilled, enthusiastic nursing students from all areas and walks of life to embrace the vital role nurses play in our society and enroll in comprehensive, experience-based programs like the ones offered at Salem University.

If you’re interested in being a part of closing the healthcare skills gap and learning more about the online nursing programs we offer, contact Salem University today.