Turn to Tara: Nursing shortage crisis threatens tri-state health care

As the region faces a mounting nursing shortage crisis, the impact could reverberate across hospital bed counts and emergency room visits.

Tara Rosenblum

Aug 24, 2023, 11:22 AM

Updated 334 days ago

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As the region faces a mounting nursing shortage crisis, the impact could reverberate across hospital bed counts and emergency room visits. Senior Reporter Tara Rosenblum delves into the ongoing investigation.
While many have moved past the initial panic of the pandemic, some have been unable to shake off the lasting effects of COVID.
Nancy Hagans, president of the New York State Nurses Association, responded to recently shared data, predicting a mass departure from the nursing profession. The data indicates that roughly half of all nurses in the tri-state area plan to switch careers, a trend Hagans believes should trigger concern.
Financial research firm Scholaroo's data also points to areas like Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, experiencing some of the highest demands for nurses in the country. These facilities have faced staff losses of up to 15% due to lingering pandemic repercussions.
With dwindling enrollment and faculty shortages in nursing schools adding to the problem, Hagans worries that the shortage will exacerbate in the coming years. She highlights the need for adequate staffing to ensure patient care takes precedence over profit.
New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald echoed these concerns, emphasizing the real and alarming nature of the nursing shortage.
Greenwald's worries extend to the aging workforce in his state, with over a third of nurses aged 56 or older. He has introduced a package of bills to address the shortage, including expanding loan redemption programs, maximizing federal matching dollars, facilitating the training of unemployed individuals for the health care sector, and streamlining licensure application processes.
As the urgency for action grows, federal data projects a demand for over 3.5 million registered nurses nationwide by 2030. For those concerned about or affected by the nursing shortage, they can reach out to Tara via email or visit the "Turn to Tara" section on News12.com.


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