Del. Facing Looming Nursing Shortage - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Facing Looming Nursing Shortage

Posted:

MILFORD, Del. (WBOC) - Hospitals and doctor's offices can't function without enough nurses. But Delaware is facing a looming nursing shortage.  

It's a nationwide program - not enough nurses to care for patients.

Delaware has almost 16,000 licensed registered nurses.

That is the current number. But some say it's not the present that's the issue. It's the future.

Heidi LeGates started her career as a nurse. Now she's director of patient care service.

She says the average age of a nurse in Delaware is mid-40s.

"When I first entered the profession 30 years ago, the average age was 27," she said. "Many people are now looking at retiring. We need to back fill that."

"The big thing down the road - 5, 7, 10, 15 years - I think we're going to notice a lack of healthcare professionals," said Bill Johnston, president of Wesley College. "We need to be prepared."

Schools in Delaware are working to avoid the looming shortage. Wesley College is opening a new health sciences building soon. Delaware Tech is starting a new sped-up degree program. And Beebe recently broke ground on an expansion of its nursing school.

And at Wesley nursing numbers are up.

"Our applications for nursing are significantly for the fall of 2014," said Johnston. "So, we are seeing already an increase in interest in that area."

LeGates says key to ensuring a looming shortage doesn't become an actual shortage is getting to kids early, showing them why nursing is a good career choice.

"I feel that we are able to meet the needs in the future and have nurses who are prepared to take care of the patients of the future," she said.

Delaware is also getting older by the day. The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services estimates Delaware with be the ninth oldest state in the country by 2030. That will certainly also increase the need for health care professionals in The First Sate.

A spokeswoman for the Division of Public Health says a shortage would create serious quality of care concerns, meaning failing to recruit enough new nurses is not an option.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Dover Man Goes to Prison on Child Sex Charges

    Dover Man Sentenced for Child Sex Charges

    08/18/2017 15:16:00 -04:002017-08-18 19:16:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 3:22 PM EDT2017-08-18 19:22:31 GMT
    DOVER, Del.- A Dover man has been sentenced for sexually abusing a child who was in his care.Micah Smith, 41, was convicted by a jury in May of continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust, authority or sMore
    A Dover, Del. man has been sentenced to a decade behind bars for sexually abusing a child who was in his care.More
  • 7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    08/18/2017 14:47:00 -04:002017-08-18 18:47:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 2:53 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:53:31 GMT
    Friday morning's boat fire nearly 14 miles off the Ocean City coast. (Photo credit: Coast Guard Station - Ocean City)Friday morning's boat fire nearly 14 miles off the Ocean City coast. (Photo credit: Coast Guard Station - Ocean City)
    The Coast Guard on Friday morning rescued seven people after the 35-foot boat they were on caught fire nearly 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City.More
    The Coast Guard on Friday morning rescued seven people after the 35-foot boat they were on caught fire nearly 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City.More
  • Photographers, Experts Say it's OK to Shoot Solar Eclipse with Smartphones

    Photographers, Experts Say It's OK to Shoot Solar Eclipse with Smartphones

    Friday, August 18 2017 2:53 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:53:15 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 2:53 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:53:15 GMT
    Amid the debate over whether or not shooting the solar eclipse with a smartphone will cause damage to the device, photographers and experts say most cell phones do not capture enough light to do any damage.More
    Amid the debate over whether or not shooting the solar eclipse with a smartphone will cause damage to the device, photographers and experts say most cellphones do not capture enough light to do any damage.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two Wanted for Burglary, Theft in Delaware

    Two Wanted for Burglary, Theft in Delaware

    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:42 PM EDT2017-08-18 02:42:38 GMT
    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:42 PM EDT2017-08-18 02:42:38 GMT
    Delaware State Police are asking for assistance in locating two people wanted for multiple counts of burglary and theft.More
    Delaware State Police are asking for assistance in locating two people wanted for multiple counts of burglary and theft.More
  • Receptionist

    Receptionist

    WBOC & FOX21 has an immediate opening for a receptionist. 

    More

    WBOC & FOX21 has an immediate opening for a receptionist. 

    More
  • 7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    08/18/2017 14:47:00 -04:002017-08-18 18:47:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 2:53 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:53:31 GMT
    Friday morning's boat fire nearly 14 miles off the Ocean City coast. (Photo credit: Coast Guard Station - Ocean City)Friday morning's boat fire nearly 14 miles off the Ocean City coast. (Photo credit: Coast Guard Station - Ocean City)
    The Coast Guard on Friday morning rescued seven people after the 35-foot boat they were on caught fire nearly 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City.More
    The Coast Guard on Friday morning rescued seven people after the 35-foot boat they were on caught fire nearly 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices