No end in sight for Northeast Ohio nursing shortage

KENT, OH (WOIO) - Northeast Ohio hospitals continue to struggle with a nursing shortage.

The Cleveland Clinic, on their web site, has close to 800 nursing-related jobs available in Ohio alone.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for hospitals to fill those jobs and the reason may be surprising to some.

Kent State University has one of the area's premier nursing programs, but the program could be admitting even more students if they could only find the clinical spots for those students at local hospitals.

"If I could have every hospital spot that I wanted I could easily admit 50 more students," said Tracy Motter, the Associate Dean of the Kent State Undergraduate Nursing Program.

It's not for lack of trying, clinical practice time in a hospital with patients is a critical piece of a student's education and the university cannot accept more students than they can place in clinical programs.

Barbara Broome is the Dean of the Kent State Nursing Program, "You're talking about 27 or more other colleges that have nursing programs who also need clinical sites," she said

Motter says her colleagues across the state are reporting the same problem, "We all struggle especially in the specialty areas so Peds, O.B. and Psych."

It is a critical issue for hospitals and nursing schools, if there are not enough clinical sites to meet the demand the universities are seeing it is hard to imagine an end to the nursing shortage.

"A solution is not readily available, but I think we continue to try and provide the very best education we possibly can," Broome said.

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