Top Nevada Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
The shortage of nurses in Nevada is the worst in the country, and it has been since 1989. At present, there are less than 600 nurses employed for every 100,000 residents, which is an incredibly worrying statistic.
Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic has projected that the national shortage of nurses will grow by 19% by 2020, and it is highly likely that the shortage in Nevada will be far higher than that.
There are a number of specific challenges that Nevada is facing when it comes to training and retaining new, high quality nurses. First of all, there are only five schools accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses. Between them, they had to turn away 473 prospective students. Waiting lists are very long as well. This is mainly due to the lack of Nurse Educators, with a large percentage of the current faculty workforce rapidly approaching retirement age.
Furthermore, just 95 students were studying towards an advanced practice degree. Indeed, just 3.5% of the current workforce is an advanced practice nurse. There are 71 areas in Nevada that are classed as medically underserved, which affects 53.4% of the population.
Another problem that is very particular to Nevada is that although some 700 nurses graduate each year, only around 400 of these seek employment in Nevada itself. The rest move to other states, or decide to work in other fields, such as insurance. The average salary for a registered nurse in Nevada is above the national average at $75,320, so it seems that this is not a factor that is of importance in the shortage. Indeed, many nurses work just three or four days a week and they receive various bonuses and other incentives. Yet, many still choose to move out of Nevada and seek employment elsewhere. Just like in other states, those with the highest levels of education also earn the most.
Nevada has always struggled with this issue. Most states started to experience problems during the economic crisis, but the problems were present in Nevada long before that. Even during peak economic times, the state seems to struggle to attract and retain high quality nurses. Unfortunately, the population is suffering as a result, and this is only getting worse. The current workforce is stagnant and significant problems will arise when the ones that are employed leave the workforce in order to retire. As the baby boomers are now approaching that age, this is a significant concern.