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What’s Causing NJ’s Growing Shortage of Nurses?

As older nurses retire, problem is exacerbated by insufficient staff in nursing schools to train those who want to join the profession

New Jersey is facing a severe shortage of nurses. By 2030, it will be short 11,000 nurses — the third largest such deficit of any state.

Part of the problem is caused by the retirement of older nurses who had stayed on during the Great Recession. “Now with an uptick in the economy, they’re beginning to retire and phase out of their career,” said Dr. Benjamin Evans, president of the New Jersey State Nurses Association.

The problem is exacerbated by a staff shortage in nursing schools, as faculty there “age out.”

“We’re turning away qualified applicants in droves because we don’t have enough faculty to educate them,” said William Paterson nursing department chair and professor Dr. Nadine Aktan. In 2017, as many as 56,00 qualified applicants were turned away from undergraduate nursing programs across the country, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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