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Iowa hospitals, nursing homes report widespread nursing shortage

Iowa hospitals and nursing homes are reporting a widespread nursing shortage.
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:11 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Iowa hospitals and nursing homes are reporting a widespread nursing shortage as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the state.

A survey from the Iowa Board of Nursing and Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce found nearly 58 percent of hospitals say finding qualified nurses is challenging.

Turnover and attrition were cited as primary workforce challenges by 42 percent of the hospitals surveyed.

Other hospitals reported difficulties with hiring new employees and replacing retirees.

Virginia Wangerin, a nurse educator on the advisory committee for the Iowa Board of nursing, said she’s never seen this type of nursing shortage during her 40-year career.

She said it makes her worried about the future.

“There will not be enough nurses to meet the needs, and so that’s going to require some very innovative approaches to providing health care, to create even more diverse teams to provide care to patients and families,” Wangerin said.

By 2030, predictions show a shortfall of 510,000 registered nurses in the U.S.

But the number of RN jobs is projected to grow by 200,000 per year through 2026.

The study shows 94 percent of nurses report some level of burnout since the pandemic.

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