Health care cannot be delivered without a supply of nurses, nurses cannot be educated without a supply of nurse educators.
The Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) appreciates Governor Evers allocation of $10 million in the biennial state budget to increase the supply of nurse educators. According to the Wisconsin’s 2020 RN Workforce Report, nursing education programs will see a 58 percent reduction in nurse faculty over the next eight years. At the same time, we will see an exit of 32, 000 RNs leaving direct patient care.
“These forecasts call for immediate action,” states Dr. Beth Markham, PhD, RN, WNA President. Projections indicate that the growth in the elderly population will continue at a faster rate and the demand for nursing care to care for this demographic will also increase. “The demands for increasing the supply of nurses are dependent upon a nurse educator workforce, the demand versus supply cannot be ignored.”, states Markham.
The $10 million will be used to increase the supply of nurse educators by providing forgivable grants for nurses to pursue any of three advanced degrees that are required to teach professional nursing in Wisconsin or, for out-of-state nurse educators who come to teach in a Wisconsin nursing education program. The loan forgiveness process begins when the nurse educator teaches in a Wisconsin nursing program for 3 years. The legislature and the Governor approved allocation of $5 million last biennium. These dollars are currently supporting nurse’s enrollment in these education programs.
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