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National Nurses Week honors nurses, highlights growing staffing concerns

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Saturday marked the start of National Nurses Week, a time to recognize and thank nurses for their commitment to care for others. But it also highlights a growing concern – a shortage of nurses.

The demand for nurses has increased over the years, and the pandemic has only intensified the situation. But, according to Melissa Burdi, Vice President and Dean of the Purdue Global School of Nursing, the country is facing a shortage of nurses and a crisis.

Burdi says the COVID-19 pandemic amplified the nursing crisis and healthcare providers are struggling to meet the demand for medical care.

According to a report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the shortage of registered nurses was on trend to hit a high of 1.1 million in 2022.

To address this issue, Burdi says there have been calls for more funding for nursing education programs and for initiatives to attract more people to the profession.

“There are folks that will say that we’re in a shortage. And I would counter that by saying we’re in a crisis. We need nurses more now than ever. Our population is growing. We have folks that are retiring, registered nurses that are retiring. So, being able to add to the workforce to accommodate the growing population, but also to account for those retiring from the profession, is really important, said” Melissa Burdi.

National Nurses Week started Saturday and runs through Friday, May 12, which was also the day Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was born.