What's The Big Deal About Data?
Understanding the true available supply of nurses is vital in today’s health care environment. The last national sample survey of registered nurses (RNs) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) was completed in 2008 with no further updates or current data on the supply of RNs. As a result, a sample survey of more than 108,000 RNs was undertaken in 2013 by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers in January 2013. A minimum data set was used by the Collaborating Center for Nursing and included information such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, level of education, license type and status.
Maintaining updated information presents an opportunity to:
- predict nursing shortages;
- allocate needed resources;
- increase program development where appropriate; and
- ascertain the need for recruitment efforts.
Understanding the value, the development of an infrastructure for the collection and analysis of interprofessional health care and workforce data was highlighted as a key recommendation in the landmark Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
The State Board of Nursing has made the survey available to nurses upon licensure or at the time of re-license. At this time, the survey is voluntary. Because of its importance in preparing for the health care needs of the future, Pillar 4 is continuing to advocate for a mandatory collection process. The ultimate goal is to have a system in place for mandatory collection of all healthcare professionals, including physicians, therapists, social workers, etc. By knowing where we are, we can determine where we need to be—and that’s the big deal about data.
Are you applying for your license or renewal? Please take the time to fill out the voluntary data collection survey and spread the word to your colleagues. It really is a big deal!
|by New Jersey Action Coalition | April 15, 2014|