Date of Defense



Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Steven Butt

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry Mallak


Over the past several years, many hospitals have reported staffing shortages of qualified nurses. In 2001, the American Hospital Association conducted a nationwide study of hospital employment levels, which revealed that 126,000 Registered Nurse (RN) positions were unfilled. This number amounted to a 13% vacancy of RN positions across the country (Lowenstein, 2003). These shortages can manifest into a serious deferral of patient care, such as surgery delays or ambulance diversions (Shepard, 2002). Speculation blames the critical nurse shortage on nursing schools' inability to provide an adequate supply of educated nurses (Lowenstein, 2003), but any number of factors may be to blame.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only