In efforts to recruit and retain nurses, hospitals are partnering with local colleges to provide hands-on training to nursing students and creating internal pools to fill temporary vacancies without using contract labor. While these affiliations come with added cost, they also increase the likelihood that the student will choose to work at the hospital after he or she graduates and will be prepared through customized curriculum tailored to the organization.

While more help is on the way, it will take time for nursing schools to increase the number of nurse educators. Data from the Health Resources and Services Administration show that enrollment for undergraduate nursing degrees increased 34% between 2012 and 2016 and is projected to increase by another 9% by 2019. The projected supply of nurses will be about 3.9 million by 2025 compared to the projected demand for nurses of 3.5 million over the same period.

The number of doctoral nursing graduates also significantly increased by 22% per year from 512 in 2006 to 2,065 in 2011. Doctoral nursing graduates are the largest source of nursing educators and are projected to add nearly 2 million new entrants into the nursing profession by 2025, the report said.

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