Wisconsin anticipates shortage of trained nursesAccording to a new report released by the Wisconsin Center for Nursing, the state could see a nursing shortage of 20,000 nurses by 2035.
By: Breann Schossow, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
According to a new report released by the Wisconsin Center for Nursing, the state could see a nursing shortage of 20,000 nurses by 2035.
Wisconsin Center for Nursing Executive Director Judith Hansen says because of the economic recession, nurses have stayed in the workforce longer than expected. As a result, both the state and nation face a coming surge of retirements. “Although we don't see a clear picture of a nursing workforce shortage at this point in time, it will become apparent very soon — within the next few years — that these retirements will take place,” she says.
More than 3,000 nurses graduate from Wisconsin schools every year. Hansen says that number needs to more than double by 2020 to keep up with demand. To address this expected shortage, the report also suggests training more advanced practice nurses, increasing diversity in the nursing population and having more nurses with associate degrees obtain their bachelor's degrees.
Wisconsin Center for Nursing Board President Barbara Pinekenstein says overall, the report is a call to action. “If we take appropriate steps now, we have the ability, I believe, to prevent a significant future shortage of nurses and assure that the people of Wisconsin continue to receive expert nursing care,” she says.
According to the report, the average age of a registered nurse Wisconsin is 48.