Working Together to Address the Nursing Shortage in Ohio

We’ve all heard the sobering statistics about the shortage of nurses: 40 percent of Ohio’s practicing nurses expect to leave the field in the next 10 years – a shortfall of nearly 32,000 registered nurses by 2020. At the same time, an educational bottleneck has resulted from an insufficient and diminishing pool of faculty to teach additional students. Educational facility space limitations also place serious constraints on expansion.

Susan Taft, Ph.D., associate professor in Kent State University’s College of Nursing, has piloted an innovative solution to the bottleneck that has occurred as a result of limited numbers of full-time nursing faculty. Nurses with master’s degrees working outside of academia will be given the flexibility to teach online courses rather than traveling to traditional classes, with the goal of increasing the number of non-traditional nurse educators available to teach non-clinical aspects of nursing courses. By increasing the number of available faculty, more nursing students will receive the training they need to enter the workforce.

The Cleveland Foundation has been chosen as one of nine foundations nationwide to receive funding from Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a national initiative to find innovative ways to create an appropriately sized nursing workforce with the skills necessary to meet the changing demands of the 21st-century patient population.

The foundation has been awarded a two-year grant of $200,000 to address Ohio’s nursing shortage by expanding the number of nurse educators. The grant will be matched by $210,000 in local funding. We are part of a local partnership with The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and the nursing schools at Kent State University, Cleveland State University, the University of Akron, and Ursuline College created to implement solutions for tackling nursing workforce issues specific to Northeast Ohio through this project.

We will be updating the community on this project throughout the next two years. Additional information and updates will be shared via Twitter (follow @CleveFoundation and @paultofu) utilizing the hashtag #PIN10.