Industry groups: America dealing with nursing shortage

Local

(WEHT)- It’s an unusual situation for college graduates: too many available jobs. But for soon-to-be nursing graduates like University of Southern Indiana student Jalah Atkins, the nursing field is as open as ever.

Atkins says she doesn’t think there’s a struggle for local grads trying to find a job, adding recruiters have been very open with students with the openings at local hospitals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the field is expected to grow seven percent between 2019 and 2029, opening up over 200,000 jobs. But with more openings, the industry is struggling to find qualified nurses to work those jobs. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says several factors are creating the shortage:

  • Lagging nursing school enrollment
  • A shortage of qualified nursing school faculty
  • More nursing retirements
  • Aging population requiring care

For local hospitals, the situation is adding to an already stressful situation. Ascension Saint Vincent administrator Gwynn Perlich says there simply aren’t enough nurses and is encouraging anyone who wants to be a nurse to become one.

Perlich says the past year has been especially stressful for nurses amid the COVID-19 pandemic but notes the nurses have stepped up to whatever the hospital has needed.

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