December 2017 
As 2017 ends...

As 2017 ends, it is a perfect time to reflect on the many changes the nursing workforce has experienced in both Oregon and the nation. With health care reform and talk of shortages, it feels a bit like a whirlwind; trying to keep up can be overwhelming. As a recap, here are the nursing workforce issues still on our minds as we move into 2018:
AMN Healthcare's Recent RN Survey Results

AMN Healthcare’s recent report explores workforce issues of retirement, education, leadership and shortages. AMN reported its findings broken out by generational cohorts. This is an important distinction, especially considering RN retirement and education goals. In the report, almost 50 percent of nurses reported shortages had gotten worse in the last five years. What is fascinating about this statistic is how it is not consistent with reports from HRSA. In 2018, OCN will be conducting an update of our 2015 report, The Demand for Nursing Professionals in Oregon. We look forward to partnering with employers in acute care, long term care, home health, hospice and public health settings to collect data on the future need for nurses in Oregon specifically. 
Healthcare Reform and the State of the RN Workforce  

To further confuse/inform the discussion about nursing shortages in Oregon, another article by Peter Buerhaus and his team chronicles the efforts of the past 15 years made by Johnson & Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP and others to address the nursing workforce challenges including shortages and increased demand for higher educated nurses. Buerhaus argues the rapid growth of younger nurse graduates will be more than enough to replace the 1 million RNs predicted to retire beginning in 2015. Yet, that growth will be uneven across the nation and within the various settings where RNs practice. We expect this to be true for Oregon and the west coast, and are beginning to explore regional collaborations with the Washington Center for Nursing and others to help best inform employers and policy-makers.
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How Do You Solve a Problem Like  Nurse Faculty ?

OCN has released numerous reports on the demographics of nurse faculty in Oregon. In 2017, we surveyed faculty who had left a teaching position to determine their reasons for leaving. Our report found compensation, workload, and lack of collegiality, were some of the top reasons behind faculty turnover in Oregon. OCN’s Nurse Faculty Task Force will continue working in 2018 to identify new solutions to improve faculty recruitment and retention.  
Happy Holidays!

Thank you all for being amazing supporters this year and every year. Have a peaceful holiday season, and we look forward to engaging in fascinating discussions with you next year.  
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