Report from the Nursing Shortage Task Force

Compiled by NJDMAVA Staff

Shortly after the election, Governor- elect James E. McGreevey called for a Transition Team to review the N.J. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA). The team studied the professional healthcare worker shortages, most visible in the unopened Old Glory wing at the Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home.

After being sworn into office as The Adjutant General (TAG) of New Jersey, Brig.Gen. Glenn K. Rieth was personally confronted by the healthcare professional personnel shortage during a tour of the Menlo Park facility. He saw that the newly renovated Old Glory wing still remained empty. He was advised despite extraordinary efforts made to staff the wing, DMAVA was unsuccessful in its efforts to attract sufficient qualified registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurses aides.

The nursing shortage, not just in New Jersey but across the country, has assumed alarming proportion.

The TAG quickly undertook measures to charge Deputy Adjutant General, Col. Maria Morgan and Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, Col. Emil H. Philibosian, with organizing a Nursing Shortage Task Force. The task force, comprised of healthcare professionals, nurses, veteran organization representatives and DMAVA employees, was charged to find solutions and offer recommendations by Sept. 1. The task force investigated the cause of the nursing shortage and made both short- and long-term suggestions to eliminate the nursing shortage within DMAVA.

The task force found that the financial impact of the nursing shortage has been overwhelming to the three homes. They must rely on expensive temporary employment agencies to fill nursing gaps in nursing schedules.

There are also associated costs with respect to quality of life and the continued erosion of the nursing infrastructure. Nursing staff shortages have been directly linked to degradation in care resulting in both poor outcomes for patients, as well as a higher number of lawsuits. Additionally, there are regulatory issues and the risk of licensure violations.

The task force, after considering many possibilities, made the following recommendations as the most viable actions needed to aggressively combat the nursing shortage:

(1) Develop an overall nursing recruitment strategy including a full- time nurse recruiter and nursing refresher courses.

(2) Provide incentives such as retention bonuses, increased salaries, scholarships, tuition reimbursement, and shift differentials.

(3) Make administrative changes to improve working conditions such a staff ratios, volunteer support, flexible scheduling and alternative work weeks.

(4) Implement a professional development strategy including mentoring and Magnet Award Designation.


RNs, LPNs & CNAs Immediate openings are available at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes and offer the following:

  • Competitive Salaries

  • Great Health Benefits

  • Deferred Compensation Plan

  • Paid Vacation, Sick, and Personal Days

  • 13 Paid Holidays

  • Excellent Pension

To apply, contact the Human Resources Division at 609-530-7038.