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Robert Rosseter
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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 840 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 

Interprofessional Survey Shows New Data on Clinical Training of Health Professionals

Published June 12, 2014

Interprofessional Survey Effort Uncovers New Data
Related to the Clinical Training of Health Professionals

AACN Joins with AAMC, AACOM, and PAEA on National Survey Effort

WASHINGTON, DC, June 12, 2014 — In a report released last week by the Center for Workforce Studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), new survey data show that more than 80% of deans and directors from nurse practitioner, physician, and physician assistant programs are concerned about the availability of clinical training sites needed to provide hands-on educational experiences for health profession students. The survey results also show that payment incentives for community-based sites are relatively uncommon and that the greatest challenge is finding primary care sites. This report was produced in collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)AAMC, and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).

“AACN has long documented that one of the primary obstacles to expanding enrollment capacity in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs is the shortage of clinical training sites,” said AACN President Dr. Eileen T. Breslin. “We welcomed the opportunity to join with our colleagues across the health professions to take a deeper look at this critical issue and find solutions that will benefit all students in the pipeline.”  

Titled Recruiting and Maintaining U.S. Clinical Training Sites, the new report provides valuable insight into the common concerns of each discipline regarding shortages in clinical training sites and the strategies used to address this issue. Key findings from this national survey of academic leaders include:

  • Across all four disciplines, most respondents have experienced increasing difficulty obtaining clinical training sites, with the greatest challenge being finding primary care sites. Most respondents cited the shortage of clinical space and competition among the health professions as factors limiting student enrollment.
  • Nurse practitioner programs had the most difficulty in finding clinical sites offering training opportunities in specific specialty areas, including pediatrics, women’s health, and family health.
  • While more than 70% of respondents thought other schools were paying to secure clinical sites, the use of payment incentives was uncommon.
  • While more than half of respondents felt pressure to pay for sites, many respondents have implemented a variety of non-monetary incentives (i.e. faculty positions, professional development) and alternative solutions to address clinical training site shortages (i.e. use of simulation, more distant clinical sites).
  • Only 3% of nurse practitioner programs reported no shortages in locating sufficient numbers of community-based training sites.

To download the entire report, see www.aamc.org/clinicaltrainingjointreport.