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The Pipeline Predicament - Addressing the Shortage of Practice-Ready Nurses | S2E3 - Amplified RN News Show

Learn how nurse advocates can use a multi-pronged approach to incentivize and retain nurse educators and experienced clinical nurses so we can create a practice-ready workforce with ANA\California Member and media-trained nurse, Dr. Victoria Squier, DNP, MSN, RN, CNL, NE-BC, EBP-C.


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Jared Fesler 0:17

Welcome to the Amplifed RN News Show where we're turning up the volume on nursing news in California. Today we're going to be diving into the topic of the pipeline predicament and how we can address the shortage of practice-ready nurses here in California. We're joined today by an ANA\California member and media train nurse, Dr. Victoria Squier. Dr. Squier, thank you so much for being here today. Why don't you tell us a little bit why you're an expert on this topic?

Dr. Victoria Squier 0:41

Well, thank you for having me here today. Good. I've been a nurse for 18 years. And my clinical background is in med surg, telemetry, orthopedics, oncology, peds and telehealth, and now as the program director for the Unitec College Practical Nursing program, and as an adjunct assistant professor for Charles Drew University, my years of experience in these settings have given me the insights that informed nursing educators and nursing students. So in turn, I now have the perspective of academia, to share in our quest to continuous quality improvement in health care.

Jared Fesler 1:20

Wonderful, thank you so much. So there's been so many reports out there about the shortage of nurses. But today, we're talking a bit more specifically, right, the shortage of practice-ready nurses? Can you tell us really what is the problem here that we're dealing with?

Dr. Victoria Squier 1:36

Oh, we're dealing with the aftermath of a global pandemic. And nurses have left and are continuing to leave the profession. And we're faced with educating the next generation of nurses, we're entering in an environment of care that's been significantly impacted by the max exodus of healthcare workers, and specifically the nurses. So the problem is getting those educated, caring competent nurses into the workforce to meet the increased demand.

Jared Fesler 2:05

And so, is there what is the issue with nursing educators? Or is there an issue with the nurses at the bedside? Sort of, you know, which side of the coin is needing the help the most? And can we talk a little bit more specifics about each of those problems?

Dr. Victoria Squier 2:23

Sure. Well, one would ask, Well, why can't we get these nursing schools to let more students in as qualified students are getting waitlisted. And as much as the nursing schools want to meet that demand, we're also faced with that staffing challenge. Recruiting qualified masters prepared, RNs is not a new problem for nursing academics. And oftentimes, we're competing with clinical settings for candidates. And typically, our wages aren't as high. So which brings us up to another issue of incentives to advanced nursing degrees. In our quest to focus on retaining our nurses at the bedside, we're failing to recognize the need to promote and develop the profession, and providing a stream of talent to develop and advance those degrees and succession plan nurses. Rather than have a culture of stagnant burned out clinicians, we probably should have a mindset of growth and know that there's always options to explore and get ready for that next level.

Jared Fesler 3:21

So you mentioned incentives, what specifically, what incentives are we talking about?

Dr. Victoria Squier 3:28

Well, perhaps one would be intimidated to go back to school, or maybe the challenge of having to consider those wage disparities and might have to take a pay cut. And in that challenge, to decide where we want to go next. Are we going to stay in our comfort zone and not have to deal with those economic challenges? Or are we going to, you know, take that leap and move on to our next levels?

Jared Fesler 4:00

So what would you ask that healthcare leadership, nurses, educators, what would you ask that they do next to help address this problem?

Dr. Victoria Squier 4:11

Well, I think the idea of that partnership between those clinical settings and the academic setting, be a two-way stream to staff, the facilities to educate their nurses, and to have that continuous movement. And rather than have us in the mindset that we're here to just be at the bedside, we're also bringing in new nurses, we're moving on to other areas in our practice, and also to consider going back into academia to share that expertise and bring on another set of nurses to replace us as we move on to that next level.

Jared Fesler 4:58

So incentives in the right I place at the right time, maybe we can address some of these barriers to creating practice-ready nurses that what we're hearing?

Dr. Victoria Squier 5:05

Yeah. And when we talk about practice ready, we really do have to consider are we just getting them out there fast and furious these in really not giving that quality of readiness in the beginning and then on to grow and develop? Or are we just getting them to the bedside and causing the same cycle of burnout? Because we're not really focused on getting that professional development in the things that keep nurses satisfied in the profession and not lose them in those early years?

Jared Fesler 5:49

Well, this is a fantastic topic to dive further into Dr. Squier, thank you so much for being on the show today. Clearly a few things that both nursing educators, the institutions they work for, as well as health care leadership, have some options in front of them. So thank you so much for discussing this today. If you're joining us here on the Amplified RN News Show, stay tuned for the next episode. Thank you so much.

Dr. Victoria Squier 6:12

Thank you


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