Possible nursing shortage with increase healthcare - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Possible nursing shortage with increase healthcare

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Thousands of residents across the peach and palmetto states now have access to the affordable care act but now health officials are worried a nursing shortage may soon be approaching.

"There will be a lot more demand for nurses as we go through health care reform and as the health care becomes more complex," said Dr. Lucy Marion, dean of GRU's college of nursing.


Marion said there are not enough people to meet the population's needs.

"Practitioners will be called upon to give primary care to the masses. As we get more and more people who get health care and knowing that the other providers, physicians, physicians assistants are not going to be able to meet the need," Marion said.

Marion said when the economy was down there was some relief for the shortage in nurses but it is likely to happen again.

"We had a little lessening of the shortage during the economic downturn. Nurses who would normally retire, did not and we had the part-timers in needing full time work but as soon as those baby boomers really start retiring that need is going to go back up again."

That's why GRU has set its goals to graduate more nurses than ever.

"We've filled up the hospitals with our students - in our (nursing) homes, in our clinics and mental health center," Marion said.

But even GRU has come face-to-face with a certain kind of shortage of its own.

"We have way more applicants than we can manage and we have a shortage of faculty but it's not just the shortage of faculty members, it's the shortage of places to teach them."

Marion said the university is turning to their own practices they have established like their occupational health practice to help with the placement of students.

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