NewsLEX 18 In-Depth


Nursing shortage expected to persist

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Posted at 6:28 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 21:06:17-05

MIDWAY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Overworked and underpaid, the pandemic emphasized the grind of the nursing industry.

“The pandemic certainly has had an impact on healthcare,” said Dr. Diane Chlebowy.

Health Sciences dean at Midway University, Chlebowy hopes to see nursing programs admit more students as the country works to catch up to an ever-growing nursing shortage.

In Kentucky alone, more than 6,000 registered nurse positions are unfilled right now.

“Here in Kentucky, we’re really stressing the importance of bringing students into the field and into the classroom to best prepare them for helping to fulfill and meet that shortage,” said Chlebowy.

While many nursing programs across the country have struggled to retain faculty, and thus have had to turn away students, Midway University marches on. Classrooms are full and enrollment is climbing, according to Chlebowy.

Still, even the most successful schools won’t do much to alleviate the nursing shortage.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a new report projects more than 200,000 openings for RNs every year through 2031.

It doesn’t help that Kentucky is one of the lowest paying states for RNs, according to Becker’s ASC Review.

"We talk about the nursing burnout in practice,” said Chlebowy. “That has been a huge factor for a number of nurses.”

When Midway University pins its 26 nursing graduates next month, the industry outlook will still be grim, but it’s a fact that makes an already admirable career a heroic one.

“The pandemic opened eyes to the value of nursing and what nursing can truly do to contribute to healthcare,” concluded Chlebowy.