[font=Helvetica]Aging population swells demand, but long hours and stressful, risky work steer many into other fields
Delaware needs about 800 more registered nurses than it has, and that shortage is expected to grow more critical. By next year, Delaware could be short by more than 2,126 nurses, or 29 percent, according to a study by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. In 2020, Delaware will have only half the number of nurses that it needs.
"It's not going away anytime soon," said Joe Letnaunchyn, president of the Delaware Healthcare Association. "There's still a challenge of being able to meet the need and provide the ongoing educational opportunities for people interested in nursing and the allied health professions." Statewide, one in 10 nursing jobs is vacant. The shortage is most critical at the five state-owned, long-term care facilities, where nearly a third of nursing jobs are vacant.