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Nursing research to improve rural health care

Posted: Monday, Dec 23rd, 2013

Nursing student Kelsey Ray administers an IV to simulation mannequin Anne Jackson in the SDSU lab in Wagner Hall in May 2013.

BROOKINGS – It’s not a matter of numbers but location.

With 1,247 registered nurses per 100,000 people, South Dakota has one of the nation’s highest ratios of registered nurses, according to the 2013 U.S. Nursing Workforce Report.

“One would assume with South Dakota’s larger population ratio of nurses that our state would have our needs met. However, some rural areas have difficulty finding nurses, while some areas, such as Minnehaha and Pennington counties, may have more than an adequate supply,” explains Linda Young, nursing specialist at the South Dakota Board of Nursing.

• Location makes a difference

The South Dakota Board of Nursing does not monitor where these nurses work but where they live. Young reports that as of December 2012, some 13,307 registered nurses reside within South Dakota. However, they don’t necessarily work in the town where they live.

“When we break that down by county or region, we have those pockets where there aren’t enough nurses to meet the needs of those in the communities,” Young explains. She cites the central region, from Corson County to Gregory County, which has numbers ranging from 9 to 77 nurses per county.

South Dakota State University’s Lois Tschetter, an associate professor in nursing, seeks to improve these statistics.

For the complete article see the 12-24-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-24-2013 paper.

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