A $750,000 grant from Workforce Connections will help the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition (SNMIC) put 35 new nurses to work.
The grant, which is meant to address the shortage of qualified workers in key sectors of healthcare, will help both hospitals and nurses. Nevada has long lingered at the bottom of national lists of nurse-to-population ratios. In 2001, it was dead last, with just 520 nurses per 100,000 state residents. By 2005, things that improved somewhat: the ratio increased to 548 nurses per 100,000 residents. In 2006, the state moved into second-to-last place.
More nurses are needed, althoughÂ some nurses on the ground may argue that nursing jobs are difficult to come by in Nevada — a temporaryÂ effect, experts say, of the current recession.Â As the recession ends and older nurses retire, experts predict that Nevada’s chronic nursing shortage will once again be revealed.
That’s where the grant comes in. SNMIC will use the money to put nurses to work, even at a time when some hospitals are reluctant to hire additional staff. The grant money will be used, in part, to pay one-half of the wages for 35 new nurses in the first 90 days of work.Â “Healthcare facilities want to hire experienced nurses,” says Doug Geinzer, CEO for SNMIC. “We are going to give them what they need while also helping new nurses get jobs.”
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