As we continue to celebrate Nurses Month, we hope you will check out this radio interview with our own project direct Dr. Lisa Seldomridge! She spoke with 'Maryland Today' host Jeff St. Pierre about nursing, nursing education, and the Lead Nursing Forward project. This piece originally aired on on May 2, 2021.
Dr. Seldomridge discussed the nursing and nurse faculty shortages. Nationwide in 2020, there were 80,000 qualified nursing program applicants turned away because schools did not have enough faculty to teach them.
"Without teachers, you can't take more students; you can't make more nurses."
Even as one third of the nursing workforce nationwide is expected to retire in the next year, nursing continues to be one of the fastest growing occupations. In Maryland, the predicted job growth for nursing is 20% on top of filling the predicted vacancies from retirees. Our nation's need for healthcare is only growing, for both sick care and preventative care.
There is a dire need for more educators in order to teach the new nurses who will fill this gap. The interest in nursing is there, but the capacity to educate nursing students must grow in order to accommodate those students.
One message Dr. Seldomridge hopes to spread about teaching in nursing education:
"Teaching is exciting and fun. It is an opportunity to really influence the next generation. It's not a job that you have to postpone until you're nearing retirement or getting tired of the physical grind of nursing. It's a great profession to enter not too long out of school.
You need a little experience, but you don't need decades of experience to be a great teacher."
Dr. Seldomridge also discussed the need for more diversity in nursing. The recently released Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Report Brief on Transforming Nursing Education also states the need to diversify nursing and nursing education in order to achieve health equity for all. The Report Brief lists several solutions, such as the quoted item below.
"Educational institutions and accreditors need to be more intentional about inspiring, empowering, and preparing nurses to promote good health and wellbeing for all, including by:
Intentionally recruiting, supporting, and mentoring faculty and students from diverse backgrounds to ensure that the next generation of nurses reflects the communities they serve."
Dr. Seldomridge is director of the Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center, project director for multiple NSP II grants including Lead Nursing Forward, and Professor of Nursing at Salisbury University. She entered the educator workforce herself at 27 years old and has previous experience teaching at Wor-Wic Community College as well as in a hospital setting before coming to Salisbury University.