A warning was given by a Mississippi state rural health authority and demographer that a smaller number of nursing students who will come back to parts of the state that are not heavily populated can greatly affect health care.
Associate research professor Ronald Cossman of the university’s Social Science Research Center stated that a survey done on nursing students who are presently enrolled in Magnolia State colleges and universities revealed that only a small number plan to get employment in rural areas once they graduate.
He went on to say that long-term impact of inadequate amount of nurses working in rural areas of the state could end up in deficient medical care.
Cossman stated that the state has to look after and develop a channel of health care personnel if it is to satisfy the needs of those who are underserved, which above all are the rural areas in Mississippi.
He pointed to two chief reasons which is based on the fall survey done in 2010 to more than a thousand nursing majors and these are most hail from rural places and not a sufficient amount would select to get employment in rural places, regardless of where they originally came from.
The interest in specialization is a reason why a smaller number of nurses want to work in rural areas, explained Cossman. Bigger areas provide chances to work in certain areas of interest, whereas the less populated places most of the time have clinics and hospitals where nurses function more as generalists.
Cossman stated that this has implications not only for Mississippi healthcare but for rural staffing nationwide.
He went on to say that should there be rural natives willing to work in rural areas, there is still too little nursing students hailing from rural areas. The channel is just not big enough to satisfy demand. The second reason is that most nursing students choose specialties that are not usually available in rural areas. He continued that they are picking out rural areas for the reason that they would like to specialize, and these specialties are likely found in bigger hospitals and communities.
To help reduce the shortage of rural nursing, Cossman’s report suggests that efforts should be exerted on endorsing a lot more people in rural places to think about the nursing profession and the potential financial incentive for working nurses to find in rural places.
Executive director Wanda Jones of the Mississippi Office of Nursing stated that the Mississippi Delta is a chief area that has high nursing opportunity rates. All over the western region, a vacancy rate of around 8% can be observed, although the place has had opportunity rates that almost went beyond 20%.
The present rate is still about doubled compared to other parts of the state, Jones said, who acted as liaison between the state college nursing deans and directors and Cossman for the survey.
Aside from that, Jones’ agency gathers data on the nursing needs of the state, monitoring vacancies as well as other research data.
Other researchers from MSU who helped in the SSRC survey are Lynne Cossman, sociology professor; Philip B. Mason, a graduate research assistant at a campus-based Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education Center; and Katherine Harney, North Mississippi Area Health Education Center director.