The Nursing Faculty Dilemma

Matthew Weinstock's Sept. 8 blog in H&HN Daily on the shortage of nursing school faculty elicited several responses. Here are two:

As a lowly adjunct assistant professor at a college of nursing for 10 years, I retired from academia to work as a nurse after my graduating seniors would get jobs paying more than I was earning with a master's degree. Until there is pay equity and appreciation, the trend is not likely to change. I was one of the younger faculty at 50 when I retired, and looking at my overweight colleagues, was not interested in the role model they represented for the profession either.

Retired nursing faculty member

As someone who worked in academe as a nurse educator for more than 30 years, an added factor that I think warrants scrutiny is the failure of the academic community to address the difference in job satisfiers, including incomes, that exist between nurses in education and those in practice. Expanding faculty numbers includes making the job attractive. I watched academe solve this dilemma in other disciplines, such as engineering and architecture, and systematically refuse to do so in nursing.

Phyllis Beck Kritek

The Primary Care Dilemma

Here are two responses to Ian Morrison's Sept. 6 column in H&HN Daily on the worsening shortage of primary care physicians:

Thanks for setting people straight that there are no easy wins via "making more PCPs" or "just having NP/PAs do it" … we need a fundamental shift in how we practice health care and that will only happen via "rapid and continuous delivery system innovation" — ideally backed by appropriate reimbursement schemes. The truth is that we don't have a shortage of PCPs; we have a shortage of using them efficiently.

Lyle Berkowitz

No matter how you shuffle the deck, there are not enough physicians for all of the sick people. Answer: more physicians and more cost, or make it profitable for people to have healthy lifestyles, less disease, less need for physicians = less cost.