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Health Spotlight: Health care businesses face staffing crisis

Health Spotlight: Health care businesses face staffing crisis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nursing is facing an unprecedented crisis as the healthcare industry grapples with a severe shortage of nurses.

This shortage is projected to reach 13 million nurses worldwide by 2030. That’s why hospitals are now seeking innovative strategies to revolutionize the field to save both jobs and lives.

Experts say nearly a million nurses will exit the industry in the next four years.

“Even our younger nurses that just came into the profession are leaving the profession,” said Tommye Austin, chief nurse executive at BJC Healthcare.

Austin has been a nurse for 34 years.

“It has to change. It cannot be the way it was done during the pandemic because we just don’t have the resources, he said.

How can we expect nursing to evolve?

“Working our nurses to the top of their license is one of the main objectives for our organization,” Austin said.

More solutions start by redefining roles or creating different levels of nurses: expert nurses, nurses with master’s, and nurses with associate’s degrees.

And some nurses even work from home – leveraging telemedicine and technology.

“A lot of nursing time is taken up by working on that computer and inputting that data,” Austin said.

Robots are also beginning to play a critical role.

“Nurses sometimes clock 20, 30,000 steps a day. And so, if we can have robots that can pick up medications from the pharmacy or take medications to the pharmacy, pick up labs, take a lab specimen down to the laboratory,” Austin said.

AI can also become an extra set of eyes to help monitor patients.

“What that artificial intelligence can tell me is that, ‘Tommye, you need to watch that there’s something going on with that patient,’” Austin said.

“Because I love people. Nursing is a profession that I probably could work until I’m a hundred,” Austin said.

Some hospitals are using smart rooms, which let patients control various aspects of their environment using their fingertips or voice commands with little to no effort. These innovative rooms eliminate the need for nurses to interrupt their patient care duties with tasks that don’t require medical knowledge.

Experts add stress seems to be more of the problem than money: according to nursing-dot-org, nurses are earning more money than ever before. rn’s earn around $80,000 or more per year while more specialized degrees can get as high as $200,000 a year.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.