Nursing shortages are not just a product of the pandemic

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 4:06 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - In a discussion at the 2021 SOAR summit, healthcare professionals talked about the ongoing nursing shortage in hospitals and health centers across the state.

The pandemic made the shortage more noticeable, but it has been an issue since before it even began, according to some healthcare professionals. They said there is a lack of instructors to teach nursing, and a lot of people are leaving the business.

Professionals said by 2024, there will be around 2,700 open positions in healthcare.

Their focus right now, they said, is to help get hospitals through the pandemic. After that, they can look into building a pipeline to get more people in the healthcare profession.

Ellen Wright, one of the healthcare workers at the summit, said nurses have to care for more patients than they normally would. Even without COVID-19 patients, there are fewer nurses because of the shortage, so each nurse has to take on more patients.

Marissa Greer said they want to get younger generations interested in coming into healthcare. She suggested career pathway programs could be one place to start.

The healthcare professionals all agreed that every county, private school, public school and government need to work together to solve the shortage.

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