Changing how the world thinks about nursing

Join our Facebook group Twitter bird search box

Dean announces plan to address nursing shortage

November 3, 2003 -- Today's Boston Globe carried an AP story by Mike Glover about Presidential candidate Howard Dean's proposal to combat the nursing shortage through an array of new measures to address overtime and staffing, as well as promote higher pay, tuition assistance, and a more diverse and empowered nursing population.

The former Vermont governor outlined his plan at a speech at Grand View College in Iowa, a key battleground in the Presidential primaries, and was introduced by a nurse who was head of a local unit of the Service Employees International Union, which later endorsed Dean.

According to the article, specifics of Dean's proposal include banning mandatory overtime, setting federal minimum staffing requirements, boosting nursing schools' recruiting of men and minorities, and tuition assistance "based on where people are willing to practice." The piece also said the plan would allow "nurses to establish a practice independently of physicians," which presumably means increasing the autonomy of nurse practitioners, which would "drastically increase the availability of health care in rural areas." There did not appear to be any estimate of how much Dean's plan would cost, though the candidate suggested that more money should be spent on health care and less "on Iraq." Dean, a physician, also reportedly noted that he had been "taught a lot of good medicine by nurses."

See Mike Glover's article in the Boston Globe: Dean calls for new nursing incentives.

Also see Dean's full plan to resolve the nursing shortage at

The only other presidential candidate that we know of who has issued a plan to resolve the nursing shortage is John Edwards. Click here to see information about his plan.

If you have information on plans to solve the nursing shortage by other presidential hopefuls, please let us know at