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Minnesota State, U of M to collaborate on nursing workforce

The newly formed Coalition for Nursing Equity and Excellence will work with every school of nursing in the state, health care providers and others invested in improving health care in Minnesota.

Stock image of a stethoscope by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash.
Stock image of a stethoscope by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash.
Hush Naidoo Jade Photography / Unsplash
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MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota have entered into a collaboration to reimagine nursing education and address the growing shortage of nurses in Minnesota.

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The newly formed Coalition for Nursing Equity and Excellence will work with every school of nursing in the state, health care providers and others invested in improving health care in Minnesota to increase enrollment in nurse education programs at all degree levels, expand equity in the nursing workforce and increase the success of nursing students.

“Continuing to do what we’ve been doing won’t address the current nursing shortage or the even greater one our state is facing in the very near future,” said Connie White Delaney, dean of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. “There simply aren’t enough clinical training opportunities, nursing faculty and simulation capabilities to increase nursing enrollment and there aren’t currently enough qualified students.”

The need to address the shortage of nurses in Minnesota is urgent. Based on pre-pandemic data predictions, in 2025 Minnesota will need 23,000 new registered nurses and 5,600 new licensed practical nurses due to regular climbing annual deficit.

The pandemic has exacerbated this issue. Despite the increased demand for nurses at all levels, applications to some of the state’s nursing programs have been declining and some are forced to limit enrollment due to the inability to hire faculty.

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A major focus of the coalition will be on removing barriers to nursing education that have left the profession far less diverse than the communities it serves. The Minnesota Board of Nursing reports the nursing workforce in Minnesota has 13.5% non-white RNs and 15.7% non-white LPNs, compared to the general population which was approximately 21.8% non-white according to the 2019 census data. In Minnesota’s nursing workforce, 9.8% of RNs identify as male, and 6.8% of LPNs identify as male.

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