A women speaks to a nurse (illustrative photo).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Within 24 hours of announcing that nursing job slots in the neonatal intensive-care units will be doubled, Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said an additional 400 students will be admitted to nursing schools in September.
Although Litzman had not explained how many nurses would actually be willing to work in the high-pressure premature baby units, he said that there are 2,500 new graduates with bachelor’s degrees in nursing schools around the country.
The aim is to expand this figure to 3,500, due to the severe shortage of hospital nurses and the relatively high median age of those who are currently at work.
The additional state-subsidized admissions to nursing schools is being made possible by an agreement between the Health and Finance ministries and the Council for Higher Education’s Planning and Budgeting Committee.
“The nurses are at the forefront of medical practice and on the front line in treating patients,” the health minister said on Tuesday. “As far as I’m concerned, this is the order of the day – to increase the number of those who work in this holy work. We are doing everything to make it happen.”
Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov added: “This is a very important step in strengthening the public health system and preparing for the aging of the population. It is also a message to strengthen the nurses’ professional status in Israel, which is on the front line of medical practice.”
The expansion of nursing students programs will occur in existing nursing schools around the country, in addition to the opening of new programs.