Dallas Nursing Institute responds to the Texas nursing shortageJuly 8, 2016
While others discuss the impact of Texas’ nursing shortage, Dallas Nursing Institute is finding ways to prepare graduates who will fill the urgent need.
By Dr. Ron Hyson
The news lately, you may have noticed, has been reporting that the shortage of nurses in Texas is nearing crisis level. The deficit has been front of mind for me as we take steps at Dallas Nursing Institute to expand our reach into the local community and help more individuals than ever before achieve their dream of becoming a nurse. It’s imperative we find a solution to the shortage soon, before it gets worse.
As an article in The Atlantic pointed out earlier this year, a nursing deficit has existed for decades to some extent. But with Baby Boomers living longer, chronic disease on the rise, and a large segment of the experienced nursing population retiring, the current nursing shortage is unlike anything we’ve seen in this country. In fact, a group of nursing researchers at Vanderbilt University are estimating that by 2025, the shortfall is expected to be more than double any nursing shortage the nation has experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s.
As executive director of Dallas Nursing Institute, I’ve seen that the aging population is definitely a part of this, but I also think the current nursing shortage is a result of dramatic changes in health care. Skyrocketing costs mean that more people are getting their wellness checks from a registered nurse (RN) instead of a doctor. There is also a need for more skilled care in assisted living settings, which further exacerbates the demand. At the same time, more major hospitals are now only hiring RNs with bachelor’s degree training, creating different levels of need across the industry.
Texas’ Nursing Shortage: The Statistics Say It All
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.2 million vacancies will emerge for RNs between 2014 and 2022. More specifically to our area, the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies estimate that demand for RNs in the Lone Star State will rise 86 percent by 2020. As a columnist in the Dallas Morning News put it recently, “It’s a good time to be a registered nurse.” And that doesn’t take into account the vast array of jobs open for licensed vocational nurses (LVN) throughout the industry as well.
With so many opportunities for nursing positions available, one might wonder why more people aren’t pursuing nursing degrees. But that’s part of the problem. Traditional nursing schools are at limited capacity. A school not far from us just got more than 400 applications for the 85 seats available in its fall start for the associate degree in nursing. That leaves 315 people who are looking elsewhere, or are considering other career options.
Meanwhile, Dallas Nursing Institute is in a prime position to respond to this crisis and leave a lasting impact on the field of nursing. We are expanding our degree options and broadening the training opportunities our students can experience.
Three Ways Dallas Nursing Institute Is Part of the Nursing Shortage Solution
- Expanding Nursing Program Options
Students at Dallas Nursing Institute have three different pathways to a nursing profession: our Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) program, our Associate Degree in Nursing, which allows students to sit for the RN exam, and now our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, which opens up even more opportunity for in-demand jobs with good earning and leadership potential.
- Hands-on Nursing Training
From simulation labs on campus to clinical experiences out in the community, DNI’s real-world, hands-on approach give students the confidence they need to walk into that first job after graduation—fully prepared and ready to serve.
- Connected to the Dallas-Fort Worth Community
Our dedicated student nurses and instructors make consistent efforts to volunteer out in the community, building strong partnerships with organizations and health care institutions such as the Dallas County Health and Human Services, Kenyon Martin’s basketball clinics, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Paul Quinn College, a local HBCU.
The diversity of our students and the social justice mission that drives our community sets DNI apart from other nursing schools, and makes us a part of the solution for quality health care in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Ron Hyson, Ph.D.
Dr. Ron Hyson has served as executive director of Dallas Nursing Institute since August 2015. He is an academic leader, progressive administrator, and operational executive with a solid history of achievement with both for-profit and non-profit academic institutions. He previously served as Campus President for Argosy University-Dallas, Vice President for Enrollment Development at Mid-America Nazarene University, and in various senior leadership roles with Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Leadership from Ohio University.