RGV hospitals facing nursing shortage

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Hundreds of nursing jobs are available in the Rio Grande Valley as the area faces a shortage of nurses.

According to the state department of health, the demand for nurses in Texas will remain in the deficit until 2030. Leaders in the workforce community say the best way to address the issue is to expand nursing education.

"We have to be able to improve our graduate programs, take more nurses into graduate programs,“ said Sharon Radzyminski, dean of the UTRGV School of Nursing. “We need to open doctoral programs that allow nurses to advance their education so they can be the faculty for the future nurses that we need."

Workforce leaders say a shortage of nurses has already been an issue here in the region, but once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it put local healthcare infrastructure under more pressure.

At South Texas College, more than 80 qualified nursing students were turned away in the last year because of a lack of faculty members and the program capacity for the spring 2021 semester. 

"Training providers and educators such as STC are limited to the amount of candidates that they can accept in their nursing programs due to the nursing educators shortage,“ said Mike Gonzalez, a spokesman for Workforce Solutions. 

To help fulfill the need in nursing staff, all South Texas Health System hospitals are prepared to offer up to $5,000 in signing bonuses. 

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