Why Arizona Could Soon Have The Nation's Worst Nursing Shortage


                                                             By Ashleigh Hollowell

Arizona could have the worst nursing shortage crisis in the nation by 2025 with nearly 28,100 vacancies in roles needed to maintain normal levels of care, according to data from the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis.

A projected shortage of just under 30,000 nurses, is the largest gap estimated for any state's nursing workforce. The consequences will likely first be felt by patients who visit critical access hospitals in rural regions.

"[W]e have nurses graduating from schools, but [they] may not know that a rural area needs their help, may not live in that area and there may not be as many people in that area who are already trained as a nurse," said Heidi Sanborn, DNP, RN, the president of the Arizona Nurses Association.

However, nurses are concerned that if the state does suffer the worst nursing shortage in the U.S. by next year, that the effects will be felt by patients far beyond inconveniences with rural care and carry over into urban areas as well, which could lead to service cuts, department closures and other "devastating" effects, Kathy Malloch, PhD, a consultant for an Arizona State Board of Nursing told the outlet.

While each month is a step closer to the 2025-year projecting the gap, many organizations are doing what they can to pad the blow in the meantime.

"The problem is so complex that there's just lots of different ways that we can all lean in to try to make it better," said Dr. Sanborn. "I see across industries. Anybody who has an interest in the nursing workforce is working really hard to try to fill those gaps."


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