Top Wyoming Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
The nursing shortage in Wyoming is not as bad as what it is being experienced in other states. However, Wyoming is facing the same issues as the rest of the country, which means the shortage is likely to start to worsen over the next several years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected national demand for nurses is set to grow by 19% by 2020. Wyoming seems to be on trend for this, which means efforts need to be made today in order to prevent such a problem in the future. One particular area that needs to be addressed is the education and recruitment of new nurses.
There is just one school in Wyoming that is accredited with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. This school has 544 current students across the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of faculty staff, 96 potential students had to be turned away. As such, the state must make concentrated efforts to attract more Nurse Educators.
This is particularly true due to the fact that the current nursing workforce is aging. This is of major significance with regards to Nurse Educators, but also across other nursing fields. Additionally, the population of the state is not just aging, it is growing as well. Since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, far more people are able to access health care. Yet, at the same time, hospitals are trying to make sure they are a last resort option for patients, focusing more strongly on community care.
Only 9.9% of the Wyoming nursing workforce is educated to the master’s degree level. This is something that must be addressed as well, particularly because there is a drive to ensure the workforce is increasingly highly educated. The state is committed to having at least 80% of its workforce educated to bachelor’s degree level in the next few years.
The average salary for a nurse practitioner in Wyoming is $58,750, which is below the national average. However, there is a lot of variation in terms of levels of experience, employer and geographical location. At the same time, experts agree that Wyoming will need to increase salaries and other work incentives in order to attract and retain a new workforce. The best places for a registered nurse to work in the state based on salary are Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Laramie and Rock Springs. However, 66.67% of the population live in a medically underserved areas, which is where the real demand is.