Nursing Shortage

There is a shortage of Registered Nurses across the country. That shortage is not expected to change anytime soon, but its ramifications are expected to intensify over the years. The reason for the problem is not necessarily because people are not attracted to the profession.

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Patricia Starck is Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston. She says students are being turned away because of a faculty shortage.

This comes at a time when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects more than a million new and replacement nurses will be needed over the next six years. Dean Starck says here in this area, because of the Texas Medical Center, there is enough classroom and clinical space for potential students.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing says over the last decade the number of nursing school graduates who have taken the national licensing test has declined by ten-percent. At the same time, as baby-boomers age the need for health care will grow.

Dean Starck says while nursing schools push for better salaries they are getting help from some hospitals that help fund teaching positions. She says Houston's business community is also trying to alleviate the situation.

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