Luanne Rife’s article “Hospitals see fallout from nursing shortage” (Sept. 22) highlights some reasons for nurse shortages. However, a definitive plan was not evident to increase the number of nurses.

As the practice of nursing expands beyond the boundaries of hospitals, opportunities for nurses abound in the changing landscape of nursing such as nurse practitioners, private or independent practice, school nurses, doctor’s practice, health clinics, faculty members, midwifery, depending on one’s level of education.

Keep in mind the shortage of nurses is not a new phenomenon that is unique to rural areas since shortages are found in large cities. In the high point of nurse shortages, nurses were recruited from other countries such as the Philippines. At one point the federal government gave nurse traineeships to pay for one’s nursing education.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if President Trump took the billions of dollars he wants to spend on an unnecessary wall to create ways to educate nurses by the thousands through means such as nurse traineeships to fulfill the dreams of all Americans to have excellent nursing care in a health care plan that is affordable for all?

With the shortages of nurses there is an expansion of certified nurse assistants (CNAs) who have assumed roles previously performed by registered nurses. Some high schools offer programs where students can become certified nurse assistants.

CNAs are vital members of the nursing team. This is especially noted at the Radford Health and Rehab Center in Radford.

The CNAs are aware of the person as a whole, not just the physical needs of a person. Love and compassion are evident in their care of all persons in the center, giving them respect and dignity.

While talking with one CNA at the center, she plans to attend Radford University to get her bachelor’s nursing degree, while other former CNAs have obtained master’s and doctoral degrees.

The expansion of CNAs can be one way to deal with the current nurse shortage. CNAs are dedicated to the wellbecoming of people in their health and transcendence.

JOHN R. PHILLIPS

RADFORD

Load comments