ST. LOUIS -- Given the current shortage of nurses and exponential job growth, the employment picture for future nurses is secure, Teri Murray, Ph.D., dean of SLU's School of Nursing, told a gathering at a ceremony last week that kicked off a new scholarship program supported by three regional foundations.
"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Projections 2010-2020 released in February 2012, the registered nursing work force is the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020," she said. "The projections further explain the need for 495,000 replacements in the nursing workforce, bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.2 million by 2020."
Murray spoke at a luncheon hosted by Saint Louis University School of Nursing on July 26 for recipients of Deaconess Nursing Scholarships, which were awarded to six students at six different nursing schools, including SLU. The goal of the scholarship program is to increase the number of nurses working in the region.
The scholarships represent a new partnership of the Deaconess Foundation, The St. Louis American Foundation and The Scholarship Foundation.
Nursing has been voted the most trusted profession in America, Murray noted.
"Nursing is the only profession that is synonymous with caring. The origins of nursing lie in the most fundamental of human impulses: to care for those who are sick, frail, helpless or in distress," Murray said.
"Nurses without discrimination provide care to everyone: the very rich, the hopelessly poor, regardless of one's religion, race, nationality or gender."
Alexandria Holmes, a SLU senior, received a scholarship. Other recipients included Brittany Brewer, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Da'Kari Burrell, Rockhurst College; Barbara Harris, St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley; Heather Rowland, Missouri State University; and Kayla Stallworth, Central Missouri State University.