Nurse shortage expected in Palmetto State

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Jobs can be hard to come by in this economy, but the future is certainly looking bright for those in nursing. Over 12,000 available positions are expected in the Palmetto State by 2020, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

June Darby is an administrator of Neuroscience at MUSC and has been a nurse for over 30 years. She says there are two main reasons that there is a shortage of nurses -- lack of funds and lack of faculty. She also says in 2009, there were about 40,000 students not accepted into nursing programs that were eligible.

Why? Because, there weren't enough faculty members at many institutions throughout the country.

Trident Tech's nursing program is currently at full capacity with 600 students, but Muriel Horton, the Dean of Nursing, says their program will continue to grow.

She says that they are in the process of planning a new 90,000 square foot building that will allow for expansion as the need for nurses increases in the future.

Their new building is expected to open in July 2013.

They will then be able to expand as faculty and clinical space becomes available.

"As baby boomers start to retire, we are going to need more nurses," Darby said. "Because as we all get older and retire, there are more of us."

Nicole Lipsey, a current Trident Tech nursing student, loves the sunny outlook that will come with her future profession. She says that no matter what happens there will always be a healthcare setting.

"There will always be a job I can find somewhere," she said. "Even if I were to have{} to move, I could find a job. There will always be hospitals, always be doctor's offices, and people will probably always get sick at some point and need healthcare.

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