THE U.S. NURSING SHORTAGE WILL ONLY WORSEN AS BABY BOOMERS AGE. The Department of Labor projects that more than 1 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2012, and nursing schools across the United States are scrambling to expand faculty and enrollment levels to help meet that mark.
     And this country is one of the lucky ones. In countries hardest hit by poverty and disease, the nurses who struggle to hold together already fragile health care structures are slipping away. In Kenya, for example, large numbers of nurses are dying of AIDS, a disease that affects 40% of adults in parts of that country. Older nurses frequently walk away from nursing, exhausted by what has been asked of them. Others—healthy, experienced, at the peak of their careers—are wooed by richer nations trying to solve their own nursing shortage.
     While training a steadily growing number of nurse leaders for this country, including scarce doctoral-level nurses desperately needed as faculty in nursing schools, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing has never lost sight of the role nurses play in protecting the health of vulnerable people worldwide. The school’s Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing (LCCIN) works closely with governmental chief nursing and medical officers in more than 80 countries to help reverse the flow of nurses from the very countries that need them most.
    Here are several ways the school is helping: In Kenya, the LCCIN has analyzed nursing workforce data, providing the Kenya Ministry of Health and Nursing Council an essential tool to rebuild nursing capacity and sustainability. In the Caribbean, where a 35% nurse vacancy threatens a health disaster in this country’s back yard, the nursing school recruits students who promise to return home after receiving their degree; other Emory nursing students and recent graduates spend time working in the Caribbean as well. For faculty and students at Emory, being a leader starts at home, but it doesn’t have to stay there.

Next chapter: to change the playing field>>

Previous chapter: to bring knowledge to the bedside<<

Main Menu

Printer friendly

E-mail to a Friend


On the home front
As part of their clinical training, Emory nursing students care for those who need it most and expect it least. At one of the city’s largest homeless shelters, students assess and treat painful foot problems that can result from inadequate hygiene and poor footwear. They provide health education at Café 458, where homeless men and women with mental health and physical disabilities can eat with dignity; at Atlanta International School, where newly arrived refugees struggle with accessing health care; and in a local prison, where pregnant inmates participate in programs to stop smoking. Each summer, Emory nursing students spend two weeks in rural South Georgia, providing health care to migrant and seasonal farm workers. Such opportunities are two-way gifts, say the students. Those who receive care are grateful and healthier—and students hone the skills and compassion that make them the kind of nurses everyone wants.

Sow the seeds of leadership:
> GIVE AN ANNIVERSARY GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING. As the nursing school celebrates its first 100 years of existence, the Centennial Scholarship Fund looks for ways to make it easier for gifted students to choose nursing. Gifts of any size help defray student expenses and reduce debt loads, helping students get a head start on making the world a healthier place.
> CONSIDER ADOPTION. The Adopt-a-Scholar program helps donors partner with nursing students. A gift of $2,500 each year for four years to help support a nurse’s education is an investment in the future of nursing care.
> FILL THE GAP IN TEACHING. One way to combat the nursing shortage is to address the shortage of nursing faculty. A $1 million gift would endow a professorship that can be used to help recruit, retain, and reward outstanding teachers.
Send your gift today by calling 404-727-3518, or give online.
Copyright © Emory University, 2006. All Rights Reserved