Iowa Hospitals and Nursing Homes Report Widespread Nursing Shortage

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) – Hospitals and nursing homes in Iowa are reporting a widespread shortage of nurses as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state.

A survey by the Iowa Board of Nursing and the Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce found that nearly 58% of hospitals say it is difficult to find qualified nurses.

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

Other hospitals have reported difficulties hiring new staff and replacing retirees.

Virginia Wangerin, a nurse educator on the Iowa Nursing Council advisory committee, said she has never seen this type of nursing shortage in her 40-year career.

She said it made her worried about the future.

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

By 2030, forecasts show a shortage of 510,000 nurses in the United States

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

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

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