Oregon mobilizes in response to statewide nursing shortage crisis
Jun 15,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Johnson & Johnson Promise of Nursing for Oregon Gala Raises More Than $300,000 for Nursing School Students, Faculty and Programs

In an effort to help alleviate the growing nursing shortage in Oregon, The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future hosted the Promise of Nursing for Oregon gala at the Oregon Convention Center to raise funds to help ease the nursing shortage experienced throughout the state. In collaboration with the Oregon Center for Nursing and local health care organizations, the Campaign raised more than $300,000 at last night’s event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward student scholarships, faculty fellowships and regional nursing school grants.

Hundreds of nurses gathered at the Oregon Convention Center for the Promise of Nursing for Oregon gala, sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future, which raised more than $300,000 for statewide nursing scholarships. Pictured left to right: Curt Selquist, company group chairman, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems; Kristine Campbell, Ph.D., RN and executive director, Oregon Center for Nursing; Andrea Higham, director, The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future; Rose Onyango, RN, Marquis Care; Nancy Connell, president of the board of directors, Oregon Center for Nursing; and Nancy Bell, director of professional development, Samaritan Health Services. (Photo: Business Wire) 
"The nursing shortage occurring throughout the state of Oregon is severe," said Kristine Campbell, Ph.D., RN and executive director of the Oregon Center for Nursing. "It is not only affecting the quality of our health care, but the shortage is also driving up the cost of health care, and it is only going to get worse. I can think of no better mission right now than to work towards alleviating this crisis, and we are grateful to The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future for playing a vital role in this effort.”

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Oregon health care providers will experience a 44 percent vacancy rate in nursing positions by the year 2020, requiring more than 15,000 nurses to provide adequate patient care.

"Sufficient nurse educators and progressive programs are critical in providing the tools that nursing students need in order to become skilled nurses and ensure a thriving nursing workforce in the future,” said Nancy Bell, Director of Professional Development at Samaritan Health Services.

The Oregon nursing shortage mirrors a national shortfall, and in its effort to reduce the gap in local communities across the country, Johnson & Johnson has hosted similar fund-raising galas over the past four years, generating more than $12 million.

“We are committed to the nurses in this region, and we will continue to support efforts that will help to alleviate the Oregon nursing shortage,” said Andrea Higham, director of The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. “This event demonstrates how working together, we can help to enhance the image of the nursing profession and attract nurses and nurse educators to help ease the shortage.”

Hundreds of area nurses and health care professionals from regional hospitals and institutions attended last night’s event at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland to celebrate the nursing profession.

For additional information on the Promise of Nursing for Oregon, email NursingFundraisingEvent@hcsus.jnj.com. For information about nursing in Oregon, visit www.oregoncenterfornursing.org.