Tri-C's Yates says nursing demand will continue to increase
January 04, 2017
In the nursing field, 2017 begins where 2016 left off – with a critical shortage of nurses. And future Januaries don’t figure to change the narrative much, if at all.
Both regionally and nationally, the nursing field is struggling to keep up with skyrocketing demand. As baby boomers inch toward their golden years, the mean age of the American population continues to creep upward. Modern medicine has done wonders in increasing average lifespans, which means more people are living decades into retirement. It is now fairly common for people to live long enough to see the birth of their great-grandchildren.
But there is a consequence – aging is unavoidable. Which means an ever-growing slice of the population is living for decades with conditions and ailments that require ongoing medical treatment. And that has caused nursing to become a maximum load-bearing beam in the structure of our communities.
The field is feeling the stress. According to one estimate, there will be a shortage of 3,500 nurses throughout the Northeast Ohio region by 2020. Nationally, the number could balloon to more than 32,000 open nursing positions.
Compounding the problem, nurses themselves are aging. Half of all nurses nationwide are over the age of 50, and likely candidates to retire within the next 15 years.
Recently, Vivian Yates, the dean of Cuyahoga Community College’s Division of Nursing Education, spoke with Smart Business Cleveland about the growing demand for new nurses to enter the field, the opportunities awaiting nursing graduates, and what prospective employers are looking for in new nursing hires.