Local Fair Looks to Address Nursing Shortage in AR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-  The demand for more nurses continues to rise, not only across the nation, but in the Natural State as well. 

Baptist Health college is  now doing more to recruit people into the field with their Pediatric Health fair.

Hours of research is translated into dozens of presentations at this health fair.

"These are the most impactful topics to the population," said Maxwell Nguyen, nursing student. 

From HPV vaccines,  to breastfeeding, these students are getting creative to bring attention to their research and help folks understand key health issues impacting central Arkansas.

"Lots of studying, especially with my group. It's a fast-paced program," nursing student, Ashley Teasley said. 

Teasley followed in her mom's footsteps by joining the nursing program at Baptist Health college. It's a common trend of  people going into nursing because of a family member. However there is still a number of positions open. 

Baptist Health Chancellor, Judy Pile,  believes an aging workforce and more career options for young people is causing the nursing shortage.

 "Probably since 2008, 2009, we've just continued to see vacancies in all areas, " Pile said. 

They're working to grow their enrollment, but it's a slow process.

"It takes a mature individual, a compassionate individual, and somebody that can handle technology, critical thinking, lots of decision making ," said Pile. 

The role is demanding and takes a certain kind of individual to help others. In the end, we need more nurses and according to students this is why.

"It's a very rewarding field, and with our population getting older and more accutely ill, that's why there's a higher need," Teasley said. 

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics there will be 1.2 million vacancies for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022.

If you're interested in learning more about the nursing program visit the Baptist Health college website.


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