The need for nurses grows - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

The need for nurses grows

By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Layoffs and cutbacks have affected nearly every industry, but the number of health care jobs continues to grow.

A national nursing shortage is expected to get worse over the coming years.  South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta needs an additional 30 to 50 nurses at any given time.

The national average for nursing vacancies at hospitals is 16%.  The need for nurses stems from several factors, including the rapid growth of the health care industry.

"We are living longer because we're doing a better job of providing effective healthcare," says Ken Kiser, Assistant Administrator for Patient Care Services at South Georgia Medical center.  "We have more folks who are living longer, continuing to use the healthcare system.  Those factors--more folks using the system, growth of the industry, it all equates to: 'We need more nurses.'"

The nurse vacancy rate at South Georgia Medical Center is currently only 7%, though that number is on the rise.

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