By Jon Delano

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a growing medical crisis — a shortage of nurses.

“[It’s] predicted to be probably by 2025 about a million nurses needed to replace the nurses that are retiring or leaving the workforce, and also for the new demand of the changing dynamics of healthcare,” noted Bill Englert, CEO of Allegheny Valley Hospital.

Englert says nurses are needed in so many new roles these days.

“Nurses placement in the physician offices; nurses in the insurance industry; nurses working in quality, or nurses working in other types of roles that weren’t traditional nursing roles in the past,” Englert told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

Bottom line: demand for nurses is up everywhere.

Appearing at a taping of the Sunday Business Page, Jon Delano asked Dr. Lynn George, Dean of Carlow University’s School of Nursing, about the shortage.

Delano: “Is there a particular shortage here in Pittsburgh?”
George: “Yes, in particular in Pittsburgh. Every one of our health care systems has indicated they have open, unfilled positions for nurses.”

George says Carlow is trying to recruit people to nursing.

“We have a second degree in nursing program, which is for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in something else, and they decide they want to be a nurse,” George said.

Watch the Sunday Business Page —

 

Out at Pittsburgh Mills Mall, the old ITT Technical Institute is being converted by the Allegheny Valley Hospital and the Allegheny Health Network into an expanded school of nursing by October.

Why?

Because there is a great need to expand the number of students in nursing.

Of course, what will attract more men and women to nursing is better pay, says nursing professor Dr. Janice Nash of Carlow.

“I would say that there’s still a lot of room for improvement, and it’s that acknowledgment and recognition of the work that they do and how vital their role is,” says Nash.

While 10 percent of registered nurses earn six figures, Pittsburgh has among the lowest RN salaries in the state with a median of $66,000 a year or $32 an hour.

That will have to change to fill the shortage.

“That’s important to recognize all that nurses do and to use them fully to their capacity,” added George.

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