I had no idea the shortage of nurses was so high in California until I read today’s LA Times article on the tactics hospitals and other nursing agencies are using to recruit nurses.
Scrambling to comply with California’s first-of-its-kind law mandating 1 nurse for every 5 patients in most wards starting this year, hospitals are in a hiring frenzy reminiscent of Silicon Valley’s lust for engineers in 1999. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this month dropped his fight to suspend the law, leaving hospitals to cope with a labor shortage that is expected to grow for decades.
I don’t know if it will be getting any better soon, but at least there are steps to increase the number of nurses. UCLA just announced that it would reinstate the undergraduate nursing program in response to a shortage of nurses. The School of Nursing offered and undergraduate program from 1949 when it opened, but the program was dropped in the mid-1990s due to budget cuts. Students interested to enter the program for fall 2006 must apply before November 30.