State faces nursing shortage, despite increase in nursing school applications

Health care professionals worried there would be a drop in nursing school applications after a year filled with images and stories of long and difficult hours during the coronavirus pandemic. But Judy Persichilli, commissioner of the state Department of Health, says applications are up, a trend that has been seen at Rutgers School of Nursing, where applications have risen by about 36%.

However, Dean Linda Flynn says the increase doesn’t come close to meeting New Jersey’s current nursing shortage. “We currently have between a 10 or 11% vacancy rate for our RN jobs across New Jersey…” There is also a shortage of certified nursing assistants to work in long-term care facilities.

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