More nursing jobs unfilled than any other job in South Carolina

There are more open positions for registered nurses than any other job in South Carolina, reports NBC affiliate WYFF.

Statewide, there are 4,955 openings for nurses, according to a May 17 analysis of SC Works data by WYFF.

"Obviously the demand for nursing precedes COVID by quite a bit," said Brian Nottingham, labor market information director for the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. "We've got an aging population, so this is part of a 10-year trajectory on a big upward swing."

The need for nurses has been around for decades, said Shirleatha Lee, PhD, RN, dean of the nursing school at Spartanburg-based University of South Carolina Upstate.

"When you look at USC Upstate, this program was started over 50 years ago, and it was started on the foundation of the nursing shortage," Dr. Lee told WYFF. 

Dr. Lee said nursing school enrollment has risen and when students graduate, they're essentially guaranteed a job.

The healthcare workforce as a whole declined by 44,000 jobs in the first three months of 2021 compared to last year.  

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