July 29, 2005

Education, workforce issues highlight nursing conference

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photo by Heather Bryant, Paris Post-Intelligencer

Education, workforce issues highlight nursing conference

Nearly 50 nursing leaders from around the country met at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing last week for a special meeting of members of the American Academy of Nursing to discuss the future of nursing education.

“This is a prestigious group of nurse leaders elected by their peers,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N., Nancy and Hilliard Travis Professor and dean of the School of Nursing.

“They were here to discuss recent issues in nursing, such as the aging of nursing faculty, the competition for clinical placements, the dearth of Master's- and doctoral-prepared nurses and the pros and cons of new academic initiatives such as the clinical nurse leader and the Doctor of Nursing Practice,” Conway-Welch added.

She said fewer than 10 percent of nurses are Master's prepared and less than 1 percent hold a doctoral degree.

Representatives from the National League for Nursing, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Indiana University School of Nursing, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, University of Pennsylvania and several other nursing programs were in attendance.

The American Academy of Nursing is comprised of about 1,500 nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research who work to anticipate and address national and international trends in health care.