Monday, May 12, 2003

Ind. nursing shortage getting worse



The Associated Press

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. - Within seven years, the number of sick people in Indiana will likely stretch beyond the capacity of the hospital nursing staffs that care for them.

The shortage is expected to reach a critical level by 2010 as more students consider higher paying jobs with solid schedules, experts said.

"There's been so many more career opportunities," said Ernest Klein, executive director of the Indiana State Nurse's Association. "Who wants to work nights and make $40,000 when you can be an attorney or engineer and make twice as much right out of school?"

The 65 and older segment of the U.S. population is expected to grow by 54 percent, or 50 million people by 2020, according health officials.

Indiana will need 17,000 nurses more than it is expected to have, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Employers are attempting to entice recent graduates with loan repayment deals and other perks. Hospitals in turn plan to help by enrolling additional students.




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