California needs more nurses. Californians want to study nursing. But qualified candidates are sitting on waiting lists, in part because there aren’t enough nursing instructors. Why? The average pay for an instructor is no more than the average pay for an RN and well below the pay for a senior nurse. You’d think there would be a solution. And there is: Train nurses in Mexico at half the cost of U.S. training.
If all goes as planned, as many as 40 bilingual Californians now stuck on nursing school waiting lists will begin classes in January at a college in Guadalajara, Mexico â€“ apparently the first attempt by any state to outsource nursing education to another country.
Program supporters say it’s a reasonable way to train more Californians, especially those who can work in communities that need more Spanish-speaking health care workers.
In another approach, a hospital group is offering a 14-month online nursing course — plus clinical training — to college graduates interested in switching careers.
Given the very high demand for nurses, which is sure to continue as the baby boomers age, why is it so difficult to offer competitive salaries to instructors and expand U.S. nursing schools?