Nationwide demand for nurses felt in the Heartland - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Nationwide demand for nurses felt in the Heartland

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

There is currently a nationwide nursing shortage and government officials believe it will not go away anytime soon.

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nursing job vacancies in the United States will hit 1 million by the end of the next decade.

Judy Aslin, chief nursing officer at Southeast Hospital, said part of the shortage is due to the number of baby boomers who are getting older.

“Our experienced nurses are retiring out,” said Aslin. “The baby boomers are using the healthcare system but they’re also retiring out of the workforce.”

Southeast Hospital nursing recruiter Jeanette Dudley said fewer nurses could impact the level of care administered to patients.

“The patient to nurse ratio is going to be affected and that’s going to affect the type of care they’re able to give to those individuals,” she said.

The lack of nurses in the profession has also affected the number of students graduating from nursing schools.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing said nursing schools turned away more than 64,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2016. One of the reasons was due to an “insufficient number of faculty,” the report said.

According to Jeannie Fadler, vice president of Patient Care Services at Saint Francis Healthcare System, her organization is facing a shortage too.

“Faculty for nurses is an issue,” said Fadler. “Our faculty, a lot of them are reaching retirement age and a lot of individuals aren’t going into teaching."

Fadler also said more nurses are needed because the number of patients is continuing to increase.

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