Nursing Shortage in Southern Minnesota

Andy Dean – Fotolia.com

One thing that has become clear is that there are regional trends in nursing jobs. For every article that says that the nursing shortage is over, I’ve found another one that mentions a specific region that is feeling the crunch.

In a story for the Mankato, Minnesota Fox network, the nursing shortage in southern Minnesota is examined.

Right now there is a high demand for certain health care positions in particular, such as LPNs and CMA’s. They predict a “huge” increase in the demand for health care providers in the future, which they are trying to prepare for now.

Mankato Clinic HR Director Ann Dempster says, “As the baby boomer population gets older and ages so does our employee population. We have 41 percent staff over 50. So I see my role as a recruiter of nurses will be getting harder in the next 10 years.”

Dempster sees a consistent need for new LPN’S and CMA’S.

Although Mayo Clinic Health System hires those positions, from a hospitals standpoint they don’t perceive a nursing shortage at least right now.

Mayo Clinic Health System Communications Director Kevin Burns says, “Our need at least currently is short term for those nurses to have multiple years of experience. That’s our biggest challenge, but we always have to be on the look out for the future.

In the meantime schools like South Central College are doing what they can, such as changing their curriculum in order to have more practical nurses to enter the workforce.

South Central College, Director of Nursing, Marilyn Swan says, “We changed our application process for practical nursing, it’s an open application process where students are able to apply when they’re ready and when the meet the requirements. It’s more student friendly and we have had good number of students coming into the program.”

As the demand grows, facilities like Mayo Clinic Health System and Mankato Clinic will work to continue their good relationships with education facilities in order to keep that pipeline for well-trained employees in the future.

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