Texas short 30,000 nurses as threat of hospital closures loom

Texas has reached historic workforce shortages with 30,000 unfilled nursing positions and 500,000 nurses expected to leave this year, CBS News reported Mar. 1.

If the estimates are correct, the overall nurse shortage will reach 1.1 million this year, according to a Texas Hospital Association's "COVID-19 Impact Report." 

"Really, it's more than just burnout," Serena Bumpas, CEO of the Texas Nurses Association, told CBS News. "It's moral injury and compassion fatigue that nurses are experiencing as well."

Almost one in 10 hospitals in Texas are in danger of closing, which the Texas Hospital Association admits was an emerging crisis before the pandemic. Despite that, thousands of students are being rejected from nursing programs.

In 2021, 41 percent, or 16,000, qualified nursing applicants were rejected from nursing schools due to lack of capacity, according to a report from the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies. The nurses association is lobbying the legislature to increase funding to nursing schools so they can hire more faculty and admit more students.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is one of the most recent nursing programs opening to help fight the shortage.

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