Future of Nursing Workforce Topic of Margaret Woods Allen Lecture

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 12, 2005ᾰDr. Peter Buerhaus, Valerie Potter Professor of Nursing and senior associate dean for research at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, will speak at the Margaret Woods Allen Special Speaker Day Oct. 28 at Southeast Missouri State University.

 His lecture, titled “Current State of the Nursing Workforce in the U.S.: Outlook for the Future,” is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall.  The event is sponsored by the Margaret Woods Allen Endowment, the Department of Nursing of Southeast Missouri State University, the Lambda Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Saint Francis Medical Center and Southeast Missouri Hospital.

Buerhaus maintains an active research program involving studies on employment and earnings of nursing personnel, implications of an aging RN workforce, nurse staffing and quality of patient care, and health professionals and public opinion on issues affecting the delivery of health care.

The Margaret Woods Allen Special Speaker Day is named for the late Margaret Woods Allen of Sikeston, Mo., who was a special benefactor to the Department of Nursing at Southeast. Allen and her daughter, Margaret Wesner, were both registered nurses.

Allen graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. She received her nursing degree from Washington University School of Nursing in St. Louis. After graduating, Allen married a cotton farmer from Sikeston, Mo., and moved to this region, where she raised her family and invested successfully in the stock market.

Allen was a charter member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation and the Foundation’ President’s Council. In 1987, she was named a “Friend of the University” which is the highest honor bestowed by the Foundation.

In 1988, she created the first endowed chair in the history of the University for the Department of Nursing. Throughout her lifetime, she supported the Department of Nursing in many other ways. She established research awards in the Lambda Theta Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau through which many faculty and students have received funding for their research. Her endowment also supports the Lambda Theta Tau Chapter through a yearly stipend.

At her death, Allen endowed the Department of Nursing’s Office of Addictions Research. This office supports both faculty members and students in their research work, and Mrs. Allen’s daughter, Margaret, is an active participant in directing this office.This year’s Margaret Woods Allen Special Speaker, Dr. Peter Buerhaus, served as assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health from 1992 to 2000.  During this time he developed the Harvard Nursing Research Institute and a post-doctoral program in nursing health services.

 Early in his career, Buerhaus served as assistant to the chief executive officer for the University of Michigan Medical Center’s seven teaching hospitals.  He later became assistant to the vice provost for medical affairs and chief executive of the Medical Center from 1987 to1990.   He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, has advised policy makers and legislators on a wide variety of nursing health policy issues and has maintained editorial responsibilities with many peer reviewed health services research and nursing journals.

 Buerhaus has delivered numerous presentations at national conferences, in addition to magazine, journal, newspaper and radio interviews regarding the nursing industry.  He has received several honors and distinctions, including his induction into the American Academy of Nursing in 1994 and his election into the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine in 2003. 

Buerhaus is a member of the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council for Nursing Research, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Systems Nursing Advisory Committee and the National Quality Forum Steering Committee on Nursing Quality Performance Measures. He also is a member of the board of director of Sigma Theta Tau International.

 Buerhaus earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mankato State University, a master’s degree in nursing health services administration from The University of Michigan and a doctoral degree from Wayne State University.   He was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation faculty fellow in health care finance at The Johns Hopkins University from 1991 to1992.   For more information on the lecture, call (573) 651-2558.