Public Health Nurse Recruitment Barriers Detailed
"It may be more difficult to attract younger nurses now because of pay differential and unfortunate attitude in this country about government workers that aren't valued as highly as other workers, even though they are very dedicated and passionate people willing to make sacrifices on salary," said Jarris.
But a perception among nurses that opportunities for leadership roles and career advancement are lacking in the public health sector is confirmed by the survey data. Nearly 70% of local health departments and 63% of state health departments reported that promotion opportunities are often unavailable to RNs.
The report offers these recommendations for recruiting and retaining nurses:
- Nursing degree programs should develop more clinical training or internship options for students to work in health agencies and other public health settings
- Health departments should consider establishing policies that allow for tuition reimbursement for RNs in exchange for a guaranteed minimum number of years of service when possible.
- Steps must be taken to provide a pathway for experienced public health nurses to serve in public health leadership roles, including program officer/director, division/department director, and health officer.
- Health departments should periodically evaluate the salary ranges they provide to RNs to those in jurisdictions of comparable size and geographic location to insure parity in compensation.
"Within field of nursing, there's a misperception that the bedside is the leading place for nurses, but the industry fails to appreciate the critical role public health nurses play," says Jarvis. "I would call upon organized nursing organizations to start to include public health nursing within the issues they highlight, and support public health nursing to the same extent they support hospital and hospice nursing."
Chelsea Rice is an associate editor for HealthLeaders Media.
- RN Named Chief Patient Experience Officer
- No Employee Satisfaction, No Patient-Centered Culture
- How Simple Data Analytics is Driving Physician Incentives
- AMA Pushes Lame Duck Congress for SGR Repeal
- Medicare to Finally Pay Doctors for Care They Were Giving Away
- Medicare Cost, Quality Data Tools Weak, Says GAO
- Quality in Ambulatory Surgical Settings Gets a Closer Look
- As Retail Clinics Surge, Quality Metrics MIA
- How Payers Are Curbing Behavioral-Health Cost Drivers
- Population Health Pays Off for NY Collaborative