Oklahoma Universities Addressing Nursing Concerns Following COVID Pandemic

Doctor Alana Cluck said the shortage started during the pandemic when nurses were most needed, and blames trauma, stress, and burnout for the shortage.

Wednesday, April 3rd 2024, 5:04 am



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Oklahoma universities are taking steps to solve the long-running nursing shortage and support nurses.

Doctor Alana Cluck said the shortage started during the pandemic when nurses were most needed, and blames trauma, stress, and burnout for the shortage.

Dr. Cluck said the problem is worsening as nurses continue to leave the industry.

Oklahoma ranks 46th among all states in terms of the number of registered nurses per capita, according to the Oklahoma Nurses Association.

In 2021, the national average was 1,100 nurses per 100,000 people, while Oklahoma had only about 700.

Dr. Cluck said OSU is working to meet workforce demands and improve healthcare across the state with its nursing program, which is helping to bridge the gap.

“They’ll be able to fill on some of those openings, empty positions in the local hospitals and healthcare facilities, especially as they’re doing clinicals and externships in those facilities. That’s preparing them for employment," Dr. Cluck said.

The program offers students the opportunity to focus on underserved and rural populations which often have limited healthcare.

Dr. Cluck said they are admitting a larger group of students this fall and will also be adding more faculty.

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