Opinion: State leaders must address the nursing shortage

Louisiana lawmakers and policy experts must act on behalf of the healthcare needs of citizens

An editorial published in Louisiana Illuminator, a nonpartisan news organization that reports on state policy issues in Louisiana, calls on lawmakers to enact policies that will improve nurse retention and recruitment.

Kathy Baldridge, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, Nurse Practitioner Education Specialist at Advanced Practice Education Associates, wrote the commentary piece to raise awareness about the need for legislators to change the current healthcare trajectory that leaves many patients without adequate nursing resources. Dr. Baldridge has extensive experience in legislative policy and is president of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners.

In her opinion piece, Dr. Baldridge calls on state and federal policy makers to:

  • Increase the retention of current nurses by enacting policies that create supportive and empowering work environments — policies that include the prevention of workplace violence
  • Encourage more people to enter the nursing profession by creating student enrollment opportunities via increased funding of nursing education programs — and including adequate financial resources for faculty development, clinical placements and simulation labs.

“I encourage our state and federal lawmakers to work across the aisle and with nurses on the ground to implement solutions that will ensure Louisiana’s nursing workforce can meet the rising patient care demands for many years to come,” Dr. Baldridge wrote. “As a first step, let’s pass policies that retain nurses in the workforce, empower nurses to advocate for themselves, and encourage more people to enter the nursing profession.”

Read the complete editorial in Louisiana Illuminator here.

Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA), is an ATI Brand under Ascend Learning. Learn about Ascend Learning's healthcare brands here.