Frantz Addresses Iowa’s Potential Nursing Shortage
Medical industry heads off looming nurse shortage
By Chelsea Keenan | The Gazette | 10/9/2013
Mary Ann Osborn believes a perfect storm is brewing on the state’s health care horizon.
Iowa’s aging population, combined with the thousands of residents who now have access to health care because of the Affordable Care Act, could bring about a nursing shortage.
“For all of us, the next work force is critical,” said Osborn, vice president and chief clinical officer at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids. “It’s not something one organization will solve.”
Iowa is not alone, either. According to the U.S. Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030.
Projections from a separate agency, the Heath Resources and Services Administration, state that the nursing shortage will grow to more than 1 million by 2020.
“About 42 percent of nurses in Iowa are 50 years old or older,” said Rita Frantz, dean of the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing. “So there will be an exodus in the next 10 years or so” as the state’s nurses retire.
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