Texas Faces Nursing Shortage

Patient In Hospital
Photo credit gorodenkoff/GettyImages
By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

DALLAS (KRLD) - There is a nursing shortage in Texas, and it's only going to get worse. 

A 2016 report from the Texas Center for nursing network studies concluded the state will be 60 thousand nurses short by 2030. 

RN Cindy Zolnierek, CEO of the Texas Nurses Association, says a lot of nurses are aging and retiring and haven't been replaced. 

Nursing education is intensive and "to increase the production of nurses, it demands a lot of clinical sites for clinical placements. And they are pretty much at capacity." 

She says there are future nurses in the pipeline. 

"Our legislature has been very supportive and they have funded the nursing shortage reduction program for over 15 years, which has dramatically increased our production of nurses.  There are more and more coming out of nursing schools, but it has not been enough to achieve the gap we are going to experience by 2030. 

Zolnierek recommends looking at alternative sights for nursing education. 

"The other bottleneck for schools is adequate numbers of faculty. Really make those efforts to recruit and retain faculty in the schools so they can continue to produce nurses."

She says this is very serious. 

"Hospitals have closed units when there have not been enough nurses to staff them, so it is a significant threat. You do not talk about or see health care without seeing a nurse in that environment."