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Experts warn of projected nursing shortage in Las Vegas

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Posted at 8:06 AM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 12:27:08-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More growing pains in Las Vegas: Experts are predicting a nursing shortage in Southern Nevada in the next couple of years.

UNLV School of Nursing Dean Angela Amar says nurses need to be a big part of the conversation when we talk about the future of health care in Las Vegas because they play such an important role in our hospitals.

Amar adds they have plenty of qualified nursing school applicants, but they’re limited on how many they can take because they don’t have enough faculty or nurses in practice to train them. This will create a problem as the population in Clark County continues to grow.

RELATED: There's an acute nursing shortage

She says pandemic burnout and retirements will only make this problem worse.

“The burnout in the hospital means they don’t have all they need, so they certainly can’t assist us with the teaching needs or training needs of our students. So the projections lead to within the next now all the way three to five years we really, will see a nursing shortage,” Amar added.

By law, the school has to put nursing students in clinical groups of eight with a faculty member per person. They're also assigned to a hospital unit to get training from nurses in practice.

What can we do to mitigate the problem? Amar suggests the state needs to take a look at where it is willing to make investments in the healthcare industry so that the pipeline of students who have dreams of becoming a nurse can make that a reality in Las Vegas.

Another big problem is a doctor shortage in Southern Nevada.

Our state is ranked one of the worst in the country for physicians per capita.

13 Action News will break down how hospitals and universities are trying to change the trajectory in our Meadows to Metropolis contained coverage Tuesday evening.