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New England States Identify Gaps in Nursing Education

New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are utilizing a $250,000 grant to address a regional shortage of healthcare workers in their states, reports the Boston Herald. This money will directly affect individuals who are seeking or planning to seek nursing degrees.

The grant is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation, among others. Its purpose is to ensure that nursing programs are adequately preparing students for their careers, increasing the number of educators and provide incentives for professionals to pursue advanced degrees.
Recently, New Hampshire colleges that offer associate’s degrees and baccalaureate nursing programs paired up with hospitals to identify and analyze potential curriculum gaps and weaknesses.
Many of the findings showed that problems are related to the rapidly changing nature of the healthcare industry. For instance, the ways in which patient medical records are processed, stored and accessed was of some concern.
In addition, the analysis has led the parties involved to believe that nursing students should learn about the complexities of hospital systems, and not just how to care for a patient.
"These are things we have to include in what we teach," said Sharon George, co-director of the project’s New Hampshire component.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, an aging patient population and a lack of nursing faculty are contributing to the national shortage.

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