Nursing & Healthcare Directories on: The Nursefriendly
2003 News Stories, Nursing Shortages, Short Staffing

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Dec. 14 2003: Canada: Ottowa: Nursing Workforce Getting Older: One in Three Canadian Nurses is 50 or Older. Foreign-trained Nurses Comprise 6% of the Nursing Workforce:"Today, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) releases a series of new reports looking at the supply and distribution of the regulated nursing workforce in Canada. These reports show that the average age of Canadian nurses reached 44.5 years in 2003 and that one in three nurses in Canada is 50 years of age or older. In 2003, the average age of a registered nurse (RN) in Canada was 44.5, compared to 44.4 for licensed practical nurses (LPN) and 46.2 for registered psychiatric nurses (RPN). These reports, Workforce Trends of Registered Nurses in Canada, 2003; Workforce Trends of Licensed Practical Nurses in Canada, 2003; and, Workforce Trends of Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Canada, 2003 offer a comprehensive national perspective on the largest group of health care providers in Canada: the 309,587 women and men who comprise the regulated nursing workforce."
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2004/14/c4933.html

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Monday, July 7, 2003: Delaware Moves To Relieve Nursing Shortage:"Governor Ruth Ann Minner said Monday the state has committed more than $1.8 million to help alleviate Delaware's nursing shortage by providing scholarships for future nurses and by expanding the nursing programs at Delaware Technical & Community College campuses statewide. Gov. Minner announced she has released $500,000 from the federally funded Workforce Investment Act Discretionary Fund to support a new scholarship program for Delawareans committed to nursing careers."
http://www.state.de.us/governor/news/2003/07july/070703%20-%20nursing%20shortage%20targeted.shtml

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February 7, 2003: Pennsylvania: Hospital lawyer: We want W-B General RNs back on job:"Ufberg said the nurses' arbitration proposal "came out of the blue" after both sides had spent "considerable time" going over the terms of a return to work agreement. "Not once during this time was there ever a discuss about arbitration. The concept of arbitration never surfaced," Ufberg said. "I find it particularly disheartening that they voted not to return to work." Ufberg said the hospital has been "trying very hard" to reach an agreement with the nurses. The hospital offered nurses a proposed return to work agreement that was a result of a joint discussion, he said. Prior correspondence from the nurses stated they were ready to return to work, he added."
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6967348&BRD=2259&PAG=461&dept_id=455154&rfi=6

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February 06, 2003: New York State: RNs get chance to further education:"With the average nurse age of 45, and average educator age of 55, Kelman said the region will need around a million more workers in the next decade. Kelman said the college is trying to show people that positions in health care can be attractive. ''Baccalaureate graduates are positioned to assume new clinical roles, explore opportunities for graduate study and advanced practice, as well as shape and influence the future of health care,'' she said."
http://www.saratogian.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1169&dept_id=17718&newsid=6955544&PAG=461&rfi=9

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February 5, 2003: California: SFSU strengthens the nursing career ladder:"As the nationwide nursing shortage focuses attention on recruiting first-line RNs, SFSU's School of Nursing is finding new ways to also increase working nurses' career satisfaction and retention. Associate Professors Amy Nichols and Andrea Boyle have designed an innovative MSN program that helps RNs with bachelor's degrees move up the career ladder -- an effort to retain these much-needed professionals in their field. With an emphasis on flexibility, peer support, and respect for the experiences and knowledge that working professionals hold, the two-year MSN cohort program is tailor-made for nurses who want to enhance their career mobility and earning potential without putting their careers or family lives on hold."
http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2003/14.htm

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February 5, 2003: Michigan: NOCH to continue 'proactive' battle to recruit nurses:"The number of newly licensed registered nurses in Michigan has decreased each of the past five years, according to an MSU study, and the number of RNs licensed in the state fell from about 117,000 in 1999 to 111,500 in 2000. The same study indicated that the average age of nurses in the state is getting older: RNs under the age of 30 fell from 26 percent of the nursing workforce in 1980 to 9 percent two years ago. Beginning salary for RNs in Southwest Michigan is approximately $34,000 a year, according to the Web site for Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek. Salaries for beginning licensed practical nurses (LPNs) start between $26,000 and $29,000 a year."
http://www.grandhaventribune.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$rec=20926?news

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February 4th, 2003: Alabama: Nursing graduates pass licensure exam with flying colors:"The university's nursing graduates passed the licensure exam with a 100 percent passing rate. This was an improvement from last year's score of 96.3 percent. Graduating students in UA's Capstone College of Nursing achieved a perfect score of 100 percent on the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The Alabama Board of Nursing notified the college last month about the news. All 31 students who took the exam passed on their first attempt. In order for nursing students to practice, they must pass the licensure exam."
http://www.datelinealabama.com/article/2003/02/04/3677_campus_art.php3

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Tuesday, February 4, 2003: Maine: State faces 'care gap,' report says:"Maine faces a critical shortage of long-term-care workers as its population ages, a new report from the Maine Center for Economic Policy concludes. The report said that the need for long-term-care workers - health aides and personal care attendants - will increase by 50 percent between 1998 and 2008."
http://business.mainetoday.com/news/030204ltcare.shtml

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February 4th, 2003: United Kingdom: MAJOR CITY CAMPAIGN TO RECRUIT 500 MORE NURSING STAFF:" Dozens of potential recruits were signed up at an event which aimed to get nurses from all over the country to work in Leicester. Nursing managers need to recruit an estimated 500 more staff to Leicester's hospitals which have a vacancy rate of 12 per cent at any one time. Bosses say nursing recruitment is the biggest obstacle to providing extra beds in the hospitals. The beds shortage regularly pushes the hospitals to the edge of crisis, causing huge waits and cancelled operations."
http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=42629&command=displayContent&sourceNode=42628&contentPK=4004436

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2/03/03: Arizona: Nurses Rally At Arizona State Building, Demanding Better Nurse-Patient Ratios:"It's a continued crisis in health care: a nursing shortage in Tucson hospitals and medical facilities all around the nation. And Monday, the Southern Arizona Nurses Coalition held a rally to press for legislation that will allow hospitals to hire more nurses. Health care officials around town acknowledge that there is a nursing shortage. So they're encouraging more college-age students to consider choosing the nursing profession. Meanwhile, nurses like the ones rallying Monday say hospitals should also hire more nurses to cut down on overwork and burnout. Dozens of nurses are calling for legislation requiring minimum nurse-patient ratios in hospitals."
http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp?S=1112563

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February 3, 2003: New Mexico: We need an Rx for nurses, too:"Nursing shortages translate into suffering. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations recently said 24 percent of patient errors resulting in critical injuries and death were related to inadequate staffing. A May 2002 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine said higher nurse staffing correlated with up to a 12 percent reduction in patient problems. Some of our nation's hospitals are now allowing nurse's aides to write nurse notes on patient status. One such note actually written by an aide said, "Patient don't move all day. Just lays there." You can imagine what the second shift discovered when it went on duty. The patient wasn't sleeping."
http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/business03/020303_business_jdcol.shtml

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Monday, February 3, 2003: North Carolina: Nursing teachers in short supply Community colleges need higher pay or new incentives to attract faculty:"With the need for nurses expected to jump sharply in the coming decade, Margaret Skulnik needs only to look at her colleagues to know there is a problem. Skulnik, director of the nursing program at Durham Technical Community College, works with nine full-time faculty members. Most are in their mid- to late 50s. Most are likely to retire in the coming years. Given the scarcity of qualified nurses willing to join teaching faculties, Skulnik and other health officials have no idea where community colleges are going to find enough replacements to train tomorrow's nursing corps."
http://newsobserver.com/news/story/2164734p-2052046c.html

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February 2, 2003: Montana: Havre nurses OK contract:"Nurses and Northern Montana Hospital reached agreement on a new contract early Thursday, one that provides them the first significant new benefits in 16 years, a union official said. The agreement was announced after a 17-hour negotiating session that ended at 2 a.m. The contract includes a roughly 15 percent pay increase over two years and more generous sick day and personal leave time, said Bob Ingram, chairman of Local No. 12 of the Montana Nurses Association."
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2003/02/02/build/local/85-havre-nurses.inc

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Sunday February 2, 2003: United Kingdom: Special report: public services, Agencies drain NHS cash:"The Observer has learnt that the severe shortage of qualified nurses is leaving trusts with no option but to go to expensive agencies for temporary staff, despite government attempts to curb the agencies' power. The NHS bill for the army of private recruits is likely to exceed 600 million this year, blowing a large hole in the extra cash provided by Gordon Brown for modernisation and reform."
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/publicservices/story/0,11032,887384,00.html

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January 31, 2003: New York: Sage offers bachelor's degree program for working nurses:"In response to a national shortage of nurses, The Sage Colleges' Albany campus is offering a new bachelor's degree for registered nurses who want to study while working. Beginning in the fall, the college will offer the bachelor's degree through its Center for Extended Learning. It will be available in a flexible format that accommodates the schedules of working nurses. The program is designed to respond to the growing national shortage of nursing managers and educators."
http://albany.bizjournals.com/albany/stories/2003/02/03/story7.html

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Jan. 29, 2002: Virginia: Carilion accepting applications for nursing scholarships:"Nursing is a noble profession, combining medical expertise and compassion to serve patients. To help those interested in pursuing a nursing career, Carilion announces the continuation of the Thomas L. Robertson Honorary Nursing Scholarships. Robertson was with Carilion for 32 years, 15 of those as president/CEO, before retiring in 2001."
http://www.roanoke.com/health/carilion/8026.html

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January 28, 2003: Louisiana: Delta considers creating nursing program to meet needs:"Vikki Durkee knows well the nursing shortage in Louisiana and the rest of the nation. She has worked as a nurse, an educator and a clinical nurse specialist for a large part of her adult life. Now she has another task as she tries to put together a feasibility study to show that Louisiana Delta Community College needs a two-year registered nurse degree program. The study, required by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, is one of the requirements Delta must fulfill before it can start the program."
http://www.thenewsstar.com/html/652C9C9E-5389-4230-8129-DBEF1A70238C.shtml

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January 28, 2003: Montana: Nurturing a need:"Montana, like the rest of the nation, is experiencing a severe drought of nurses. Adding 16 new nurses per year in Billings -- the first expanded class will not graduate until 2008 -- is not going to make a huge dent in the problem, but everything helps, said Alice Gordon, chief nursing officer and vice president of clinical operations for Deaconess Billings Clinic. "It's very good news. We're very happy," she said. "We think we could handle even more (students)." One of the bitter truths of the nursing shortage is that there's no lack of students hoping to become nurses. In fall 2002, the MSU College of Nursing had 397 applicants, or nearly three students vying for every upper-level spot, according to statistics provided by MSU. Nursing schools around the nation turned away nearly 6,000 qualified applicants in 2001, according to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing."
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?tl=1&display=rednews/2003/01/28/build/local/65-msu-b-nursing.inc

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January 28, 2003: Pennsylvania: Nursing career fair held:"With an increasingly dwindling supply of nurses in Pennsylvania and around the nation, Pitt is doing its part to try and satisfy the demand. On Monday, the Fourth Annual Career Fair for local nurses was held in the Victoria Building. The lobby was filled with booths from all over Pennsylvania and other states such as West Virginia and North Carolina. Attendees at the event said the nursing shortage that has been ever-present in the past few years seems to be a result of several things."
http://www.pittnews.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/01/28/3e360750b0f6f

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Tuesday, 01/28/03: Tennessee: $1.74M to aid MTSU nursing school:"Middle Tennessee State University will announce today that it has received $1.74 million from a Murfreesboro-based foundation to expand its nursing school and create more scholarships for nursing students. The gift from the Christy-Houston Foundation, which MTSU will try to match with other grants, comes as states are facing a severe nursing shortage. MTSU has been unable to educate as many nurses as it would like because of a lack of space in its 9-year-old building, officials said. ''This is an ambitious and a very aggressive strategic initiative in an area that we believe will address a critical need of the state,'' said Sidney McPhee, the university's president."
http://www.tennessean.com/education/archives/03/01/28159790.shtml?Element_ID=28159790

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January 28, 2003: Wyoming: Proposed nursing education funds cut:"The Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday cut more than half of the funding out of a bill that tries to solve the state's nurse shortage. Senate File 22, which started out with just under $3.2 million in appropriations and was left with just over $1.2 million, would provide funding to the state's community colleges to increase the number of nursing faculty and provide scholarships to students and faculty. Under the amended bill, $227,000 in what Sen. John Schiffer, R-Kaycee, called "seed money" would be allocated for scholarships for students who attend a community college or the University of Wyoming and agree to stay in Wyoming after graduation. Another $273,000 would be available for scholarships for faculty who want to improve their education and return to teach at a Wyoming facility."
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2003/01/28/build/wyoming/xgr-nursingeducation.inc

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January 27, 2003: California: CA Nursing Shortage Threatens Care:"California is facing a nursing shortage so severe that it's being called a health care crisis. While lifting and turning patients unable to move themselves, nurse David Turner puts his back and shoulders into his work, as well as his heart. Seventeen years ago, Turner sold his ice manufacturing business in St. Louis and decided to become a nurse. Five years into nursing he had second thoughts, but has stayed for the rewards. Nursing needs more people like Turner: more men. More men, more women, more minority community members and more instructors to train them."
http://www.kron4.com/Global/story.asp?S=1101577

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Sun, Jan. 26, 2003: Minnesota: Lawmakers hear educators', nurses' concerns about bills:"The bill that has nurses concerned is HB1245, sponsored by Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck. It would remove oversight of nursing education from the Board of Nursing and give it to the Board of Higher Education. The bill also would loosen educational requirements. A current and a former registered nurse said the bill is dangerous because it reduces the quality of health care in the state. One said health care is becoming ever more complex, and it makes no sense to reduce educational requirements. Potter, who sits on the Human Services Committee, said supporters of the bill think lowering standards would help recruit nurses to rural areas, which face a shortage of nurses. She said that problem probably could be fixed only with higher wages."
http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/5033183.htm

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Sunday, January 26, 2003: Pennsylvania: 'We have to have more nurses':""Right now there are fewer older people, and more young people to take care of them," said Amy Stewart, president of Senior Solution, a private geriatric care agency in Easton. "As the baby boomers age, that is going to reverse." Part of the problem is a lack of interest among young women in nursing as a career. "There are a lot more options available to the traditionally female-dominated nursing work force than there were 30 years ago," said Paul Langevin, president of the Healthcare Association of New Jersey. And young men shy away from nursing as a career because it retains a feminine connotation."
http://www.nj.com/news/expresstimes/pa/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1043575494260760.xml

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Sun, Jan. 26, 2003: South Carolina: DHEC denies licenses for prison infirmaries:"The S.C. Department of Corrections has closed five prison infirmaries because it could not hire enough nurses, transferring inmates to a private facility even though the department's chief accountant said less expensive options were available. The accountant, Bruce Burnett, said in a December memorandum the plan would cost $20,000 more per inmate each year than adding nurses at the infirmaries. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control prompted the move by denying the infirmaries licenses unless more nurses were hired."
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/sunnews/news/local/5034142.htm

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Saturday, January 25, 2003: Montana: HCT nurse training program doubles in size in past year:"There may be a shortage of nurses in Montana, but there's no shortage of nursing students at the University of Montana-Helena College of Technology. This past year, the nursing program has more than doubled in size. "The word is out that there's a nursing shortage and there's nursing jobs out there," said Ellen Wirtz, UM-Helena practical nursing chair. "And the word is out too that we have a strong program." And strong it is. In the last two years, every graduate has passed the Board of Nursing licensing exams. Over the past seven years, UM-Helena's passing rate has been better than 90 percent. Generally, about 25 nursing students graduate every year from UM-Helena, but this fall 55 students enrolled in their first year. Even between the fall semester and spring semester, new nursing students have come on board."
http://www.helenair.com/articles/2003/01/25/breaking/a01012503_01.txt

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1/25/2003: Texas: Hospitals help Mexican students pass nursing exam:"Facing a critical shortage of nurses, hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley have agreed to pay an area university to help Mexican nursing students pass U.S. licensing exams. The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College will offer courses to about 20 English-proficient students from the Universidad del Noreste de Mexico five miles away."
http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/Default.asp?ArID=59273&SecID=2

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January 24, 2003: Pennsylvania: Nursing degree program helps fill shortage:"Students in at least one Penn program do not have to worry about unemployment in today's economy. Those in Penn's Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing accelerated program -- designed for those who already hold a bachelor's degree in another field -- have potential employers lining up. "We try to be as flexible as we can, as there is a nursing shortage," said Adam Sherr, associate director of Graduate Academic Affairs at the Nursing School and an adviser to several students in the BSN/MSN program."
http://www.dailypennsylvanian.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/01/24/3e30ef137d0b1

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January 24th, 2003: Nursing home operators also caught in Medicaid, insurance squeeze:"There are so many imbalances in the health care system, at a time when the needs are growing greater," Burns commented. With the demand for services increasing, Burns said the amount of nurses, certified nursing aides and nursing home administrators has been declining. "In the classified ads, there is a bidding war for a small pool of people," Burns noted. "Salaries of nurses are $20 to $25 an hour. Temporary agency nurses might charge $35 to $40 an hour. Sometimes, we need agency nurses because we don't have enough staff."
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6800078&BRD=2259&PAG=461&dept_id=455154&rfi=6

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Friday, January 24, 2003: California: Hospital, Napa schools work together to find nurses:"As baby Brian poked his head into the world, 16-year-old Amanda Edginton made a beeline for the door. Feeling faint in the hospital hallway, Edginton, a junior at Vintage High School, was positive she did not want to be a nurse who assists in delivering babies. But Mariam Aboudamous, who enthusiastically took pictures of the experience for the high school's yearbook, had found her calling. "I think I just discovered what I want to be," said Aboudamous, 16. As California faces one of the nation's worst nursing shortages, Queen of the Valley Hospital is teaming up with Napa Valley Unified School District to attract students to careers in health care. Five Vintage High juniors dressed head-to-toe in scrubs Tuesday and shadowed nurses in various departments."
http://www.napanews.com/templates/index.cfm?template=story_full&id=71094287-9924-45DA-AFF5-B0DC7CB49FBF

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January 24th, 2003: Wyoming: Nursing bill advances:"An amended bill to address the nursing shortage was voted out of the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee on Wednesday, but not without a firm dissent by one member. "I support the amendment ... but I cannot support the bill," Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, said. "This is a government-created problem." Senate File 22 would appropriate upward of $4 million to provide scholarships to nursing students and develop nursing faculty at the University of Wyoming and the community colleges."
http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2003/01/24/news/wyoming/c150dba97841c66fe38f111ce9b23045.txt

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January 23, 2003: California: Doctors seek more beds:"Since last fall, the hospital has reopened a number of beds that had been kept empty because of a lack of nursing staff, which local officials cite as a local example of a national nursing shortage. The hospital signed contracts with firms to provide temporary nurses. If the hospital could find more nurses, it could open up an additional eight or nine beds, Chief Executive Officer Mathew Abraham said Thursday."
http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200~20943~1131684,00.html

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Thursday, January 23, 2003: Connecticut Nursing shortage prompts program:"The HHS report discovered a shortage of 3,730 nurses in Connecticut in 2000 and expected the shortage to increase to 7,744 in the next five years. According to the report, that shortage will escalate to 11,736 by 2010 and the state will have 16,945 less nurses than necessary for health care needs by 2015. The Connecticut nursing shortage is projected to skyrocket to 21,791 by 2020, the report says."
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/stories/20030123/localnews/832809.html

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Jan. 23, 2003: Michigan: Cheboygan hospital hires striking Petoskey nurses:"A nursing shortage at one northern Michigan hospital has meant employment for some nurses who are on strike against another medical facility. Cheboygan Memorial Hospital temporarily hired about 15 nurses currently on strike from Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey, the Cheboygan Daily Tribune reported. The nurses were hired on contingency basis and opted to work in Cheboygan rather than walk the picket line, said Tamara Stevens, spokeswoman for Cheboygan Memorial Hospital."
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/5014995.htm

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Jan 23, 2003: Oregon: Providence Health System, university partner to address nursing shortage:"A new partnership between the University of Portland and Providence Health System is addressing the local shortage of nurses. The multi-million dollar partnership, announced Thursday, will provide 75 new full tuition scholarships annually for upper-level nursing students and three-year job placements in the Providence Health System after graduation. Providence's initial commitment, funding $2.5 million in University scholarships the first year, is believed to be the largest of its kind in the nation aimed at dealing with the growing nationwide shortage of nurses."
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/argus/index.ssf?/base/news/1043361378105750.xml

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Thursday, January 23, 2003: Pennsylvania: Competing for caregivers:"Human resource administrators at St. Barnabas Health System don't need a psychic to tell them how much longer the nursing shortage that is hitting health care systems nationwide will last. But they thought one could help weather the three-year-old labor crunch, so they hired a palm reader for their "We See You in Our Future" job fair o