Texas to face increasing nursing shortage

Texas is expected to face a shortage of almost 16,000 nurses by 2030, according to a report from the National Center for Health Workforce.

Texas will have a 5 percent overall deficit of nurses, which is a lower percentage than those projected for more rural states. In terms of raw numbers, however, Texas comes in second only behind California, which could be short nearly 45,000 nurses. 

The shortage may be due to the aging American population, according to The Dallas Observer. Nurses will primarily be tasked with caring for patients 65 and older, who are projected to outnumber children under 5 by 2025. About one-third of nurse faculty members will be among those reaching retirement. This is particularly troubling given that nursing schools turned away over 75,000 prospective students in 2018, due partly to faculty shortages. 

Nursing faculty are increasingly important as the profession becomes more specialized. The ACA encourages a purchasing model of value-based care, which many nurses believe they need a more advanced degree to understand. 

Texas is currently taking steps to encourage higher education through its 60x30TX program, which aims to ensure 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 earn a certificate or degree by 2030. It is too early to predict whether the program can help solve the nursing shortage.

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