The Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa have teamed up on a project to track the supply of nurses in the state. The Health Department’s Eileen Gloor says the project will focus on registered nurses (R-N’s) who provide direct patient care. She says the University of Iowa has for many years tracked physicians, pharmacists, dentists and advanced nurse practitioners, but never registered nurses. Gloor says Iowa’s been plagued by an up and down supply of R-N’s.She says that’s happened because increase demand has led to more nursing students, who then flood the market. Gloor says the tracking program will allow them to find out ahead of time when there’s going to be a need for nurses. Gloor says it will give them hard and important data to share with legislators, with nursing leaders, nursing faculty and employers. She says there’s a need right now for nursing faculty to train nurses. Gloor says Iowa doesn’t have a big shortage of R-N’s yet.She says we’re going to have a big shortage between 2008 and 2010 as a large number of experienced nurses reaches retirement age. The project is being funded through a 227-thousand dollar federal grant. Gloor says the project will survey R-N’s in a multi-county region of the state and will run through September of 2004.
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