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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tuesday focus: The workplace

The Spokesman-Review

As the shortage of nurses threatens to reach crisis proportions, more people are willing to enter the demanding but recession-proof career. So why are nursing schools turning away record numbers?

“We don’t have enough faculty and we don’t have enough physical space,” said Kathleen Dirschel, dean of the Cochran School of Nursing, part of St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, N.Y.

Dirschel said that in the next five years she might have to reduce her program to 220 from 350.

“There’s a nursing shortage, yes; but worse, there’s a terrible nursing teacher shortage,” she said.

Although enrollment rose 5 percent at nursing bachelor’s degree programs across the country, there were still more than 40,000 qualified nursing student applicants turned away in 2007, according to figures from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The schools are falling short of graduating enough nurses to fill the need, which by 2020 is expected to be about 1 million, according to a recent AACN report.

“Drug maker Perrigo Co. may redefine the laboratory job with its YouTube video “Perrigo Dancing Scientists.”

In less than two weeks, the online video racked up more than 5,000 hits.

The company, based in Allegan, Mich., launched the video of lab coats getting their groove on in an effort to recruit more scientific talent. The video can be seen at: www. watch?v= lFMZFvtNw7Y

It’s part of the company’s drive to recruit highly trained scientists from the East and West Coasts to Michigan.

Perrigo, which employs 3,000 locally and 7,000 worldwide, is using the YouTube video to get the word out and also convince job hunters that the drug maker in the small West Michigan town is a hip, fun place to work.

It’s a sign of the transformation of the work force from manufacturing to knowledge-based with the focus on having fun while being productive, said Joe Ross, a spokesman for the Manpower employment company.

“It’s no longer just salary and health benefits. What (employers) are trying to show is that ‘We are a witty, smart, fun place to work,’ ” Ross said.

From wire reports