LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As our growing population ages, there is a real concern that someday soon, we’re not going to have enough nurses to fill the need.
Dr. Michael Evans is Dean of the School of Nursing at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.
He says the problem is real and getting even more serious as more nurses are retiring. He adds, “The Texas Center for Nursing workforce studies estimates that about 60,000 vacancies by the year 2030 but it’s bad right now. A colleague in Austin told me recently they have 2 000 open R.N. positions in Austin today.”
He also says it’s unfortunate that there are so many misconceptions about nursing.
For one, people don’t understand the immense knowledge that is mastered by the school nurse. He says, “I shadowed a school nurse one year and was amazed at what they do. They have literally hundreds of students with all kinds of medications. They give those medications. They have all kinds of students with asthmatic and kids with lots of chronic disease. They have to be really good at what they do and really good at delivering care to children.”
Dr. Evans says even the look of nursing has changed, with more men exploring nursing as a career. In a sense, the gender roles have switched. He says, “Our school of medicine is now predominantly female so the world of health care is changing gender wise.”
Also, don’t judge nursing by what you see on television. Dr. Evans says the biggest misconception about nurses comes from how we see it written into scripts for TV. He complains about that portrayal, “that nurses are just there to follow doctor’s orders and not having a practice of their own and a body of knowledge of their own and caring for patients. Because they’re very smart. They know what they’re doing. That’s the misconception.” T
The full interview with Dr. Evans includes much more on the career of nursing today, including the limitless opportunities and lucrative salaries it has to offer.