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A Nursing Solution

Posted - Jun. 11, 2003 at 10:47 a.m.



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Some societal problems seem impossible to solve. So, it is refreshing to find one that with proper attention could be turned around dramatically and relatively quickly.

We speak of the severe shortage of nurses in Utah.

Of course, the nursing shortage isn’t unique to our state. It prevails across the nation. But, unlike other parts of the country, Utah has young people lining up to become nurses. One big problem! Hundreds of potential nurses are turned away from the state’s six public-education nursing programs each year because there isn’t enough money to pay instructors to teach them.

As we suggested, though, the problem is solvable.

Health care experts and nursing advocates say an infusion of $6.5 million annually would do it. The nursing programs could expand. More instructors could be hired. And in a relatively short time, there would be plenty of properly trained nurses to meet society’s needs, including those of an aging population that will expand dramatically in coming years.

Obviously, expecting lawmakers to find that amount of money during tight budget times is a lot to ask. The demand for every public dollar is intense. But, KSL believes resolving the nursing shortage should be among the state’s highest priorities, especially when the solution is so apparent and practical.

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