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Ohio Nurses Association Works With Legislators to Address the Nurse Faculty Shortage

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 Nursing Profession News J E 4
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 2 The Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) has been working closely with Representatives Jay Goyal (D-Mansfield) and James Zehringer (R-Fort Recovery) to help address the shortage of nurse faculty members.

HB 457 will eliminate a barrier for nurses with advanced degrees who wish to serve as faculty members while also pursuing a certificate to prescribe. Unlike other states, under Ohio's current law, nurses must complete a 1500-hour supervised externship in one year with an option for a one year extension in order to obtain prescriptive authority. While nursing education program administrators want their faculty to maintain a clinical presence, they can offer only limited release time for that purpose. Consequently, faculty members are not able to complete the externship hours within the allotted time period, and many nurse educators have been forced to give up their faculty positions.

"It is essential for faculty to practice within their specialty in order to provide academic guidance to students, and when they must leave their teaching positions to go into practice, it creates more challenges for colleges as the faculty shortage is making it difficult for faculty recruitment," said Faye Grund, MSN APRN, President of MedCentral College of Nursing and ONA member.

A shortage of nurse faculty contributes to the vast waiting lists at many of Ohio's nursing education programs. "Thousands of qualified students are turned away each year from Ohio's nursing schools, which does nothing to address the shortage of registered nurses," said Elise Geig, Director of Health Policy for ONA.

In response to concern from its members, ONA proposed to Representatives Goyal and Zehringer an amendment to the current statute that would give the Board of Nursing the option of approving an additional year for the externship for individuals who are not able to meet the existing time frame.

"The Representatives were very pleased to be able to work with ONA and their nurse faculty constituents to resolve this issue," said Geig. "Faculty who are actively pursuing prescriptive authority would not have to give up their academic responsibilities and could also practice fully as advanced practice nurses--a win-win for everyone," she added.

About the Ohio Nurses AssociationThe Ohio Nurses Association is a member-driven, full-service professional association and is the premier professional organization for Ohio's registered nurses. Organized in 1904 to secure a Nurse Practice Act to protect the citizens of Ohio, it has been promoting and protecting nurses, the nursing profession and those who receive nursing care for over one hundred years.

SOURCE Ohio Nurses Association
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