Purdue combats national nursing shortage

The need for nurses is continually growing in the country. It's growing so much the Bureau of Labor says from 2016 to 2026 the expected growth is by 15 percent.

Posted: May 15, 2019 12:01 AM
Updated: May 15, 2019 12:01 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The need for nurses is continually growing in the country. It's growing so much the Bureau of Labor says from 2016 to 2026 the expected growth is by 15 percent.

That's compared to seven percent growth across all occupations.

The Greater Lafayette area and Purdue University are working together to stay ahead of the curve.

"What we're looking at is nurses who are meeting the needs of the community," said Dr. Nancy Edwards. 

Edwards, who is an associate professor in Purdue School's of Nursing, said to meet those needs the university has decided to accept more applicants.

Typically 1400 students apply and around 100 are accepted. In 2016 the school of nursing pushed that number up to around 200 and hopes to keep the numbers roughly the same for the future.

The accepted nurses need to be multi-faceted.

"Nurses who not only have the technical skills they need in nursing but also what we call the soft skills," said Edwards.

It's the art of nursing, which is showing compassion, being a good listening and having a steady work ethic.

Even with all of that the shortage is startling. 

"By 2030, RN's would increase from 2.8 million to 3.6 million," said Edwards

The nursing shortage is intensifying due to the aging baby boomers.

More than 1 million RN's will retire by 2030 and Purdue University is doing everything it can to combat that.

"We're going into public health, community health and rural health," said Edwards. "We are in all of the areas now, not just the hospital."

Being a nurse is so much more than it used to be with the expansion of health care. The growth of opportunities has contributed to the nursing shortage and RN's and students experience that first hand.

"I didn't really realize it when I started working but once you start working you definitely feel the effects of having low staffing numbers." said RN Mariah Scheker. "That affects you personally as a nurse and it affects patients too."

"You do feel those affects and our patients feel those as well," said RN Nachel Rhoades.

The affects will keep piling on. But Purdue and community partners are striving to do the best they can.

"We find new avenues what nurses can do," said Edwards. "Our goal is to try to keep up with it the best we can and to prepare the nurses in the widest realm."

The American Associate of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported baccalaureate nursing programs increased 3.7 percent in 2018.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 19°
Kokomo
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 15°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 18°
Fowler
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 19°
Williamsport
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 20°
Crawfordsville
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 15°
Frankfort
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 16°
Delphi
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 19°
Monticello
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 19°
Logansport
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 22°
A windy and chilly day is expected. Tonight could be the coldest night of the season so far.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events