Hospitals, universities brace for nursing shortage

The nursing shortage isn't only getting worse in Massachusetts. Thanks to retiring baby boomers, hospitals in West Virginia are struggling to fill RN spots, the Charlestown Daily Mail reported.

Comparatively low pay also is creating a lack of nursing faculty for universities and colleges, the article noted. Few nurses with advanced degrees want to replace retired faculty members because they can earn much higher salaries with hospital employment.

"There's definitely going to be a shortage of nursing faculty," West Virginia Center for Nursing Executive Director Duane Napier said.

Despite the need to meet growing demand for nursing care and to fill an expanding physician void, more nurses can't be trained without nurse educators, the Huffington Post noted. Underscoring the problem, a March report showed a record 75,587 qualified nursing applicants were turned away last year, largely due to an undersupply of qualified nursing faculty.

Yet, some bright spots remain for the nursing workforce. For instance, Wichita, Kan., is experiencing a temporary relief to a decades-long nursing shortage, The Wichita Eagle reported. Hospital and nursing school officials say the supply and demand for nurses has finally stabilized.

However, nursing educators still warn the shortage will reemerge with even greater intensity once the economy in Wichita picks up, the article noted.

To learn more:
- read the Daily Mail article
- here's the Huffington Post article
- read the Wichita Eagle article