|Monday, November 26, 2001 |
News Media Contact
Contact: Jim Malone (DHFS) 608-266-1683
STATE AGENCIES AND HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS PARTNER
TO ADDRESS NURSE SHORTAGE IN WISCONSIN
MADISON Ė The Departments of Workforce Development, Health and Family Services and Regulation and Licensing are partnering with a variety of health care organizations to develop a blueprint for easing the nurse shortage that exists in Wisconsin.
The state agencies have worked with health care organizations to develop a survey that will answer questions about the significance of the shortage, why nurses are not remaining in their field and moving into other careers, and what can be done to reverse the trend. Information will be sent to Registered Nurses along with their license renewal notices on November 26th.
"We know there is a critical nurse shortage in Wisconsin and that it is only going to get worse. What we donít know is why the shortage exists and what we can do to reverse that trend," said DWD Secretary Jennifer Reinert.
"This e-survey will collect vital workforce information on the more than 70,000 Registered Nurses in the state Ė the largest group of workers in the health care system -- and it will help address the continued shortage of nurses in the health care system," said DHFS Secretary Phyllis Dubť.
The survey will begin when nurses receive information beginning November 26th, and it will end on March 7, 2002. It is the first web-based survey that has been conducted by the state and will ensure all licensed nurses are able to fill out the survey easily. RNís can complete the survey from home computers, at DWD Job Centers across the state, and at public libraries. Many health care employers are also providing computer access at work sites. If RNís are unable to complete the e-survey, they can do so by telephone, through a secure toll-free number.
The shortage of Registered Nurses is expected to increase over the next several years as the population continues to age in Wisconsin, workers retire, and more people require health services. Access to quality health care is dependent upon having enough nurses to staff hospitals, long-term care facilities and medical clinics.
"This collaborative approach will assist us in the development and promotion of policies that are based on reliable and valid data," said Donna Warzynski, RN, and President of the Wisconsin Nurses Association.
"Identifying the root cause of the issue and applying the right solutions to the nurse shortage, is solely dependent on characterizing and fully understanding it," said Diane Peters, Vice President of Workforce Development at the Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association.
"We are pleased that the state has agreed to assume a leadership role, not only in this data collection effort, but in coordinating the extensive public/private partnership that will be necessary to effectively address the critical shortage of nurses and other health care workers," said Tom Moore, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Health Care Association.
With technical expertise provided by the state Bureau of Health Information, this first e-survey has been developed and is supported by the following agencies and organizations:
- State Agencies - Department of Health and Family Services, Department of Workforce Development and Department of Regulation and Licensing
- Nursing Organizations - Wisconsin Nurses Association and Wisconsin Nursing Coalition
- Health Care Organizations - Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Wisconsin Health Care Association, Wisconsin Homecare Organization, Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association, and Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards
Additional information on the Wisconsin 2001 Registered Nurse Workforce Survey can be found at the following web site: www.dhfs.state.wi.us/healthcareinfo/RN, or by calling 800-301-9628.
News Release Index Page