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Nurse Staffing Shortage in Texas: Why it's Important to Have a Plan to Close the Gap

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 year ago
  • Author:by Cathy Vollmer, Conexus Vice President of Operations, RN, BSN, CSP

​The nursing staffing shortage in Texas is a growing concern that needs to be addressed urgently. According to Projections Central, Texas is projected to have 16,210 nursing positions available between 2020 and 2030, making it the second highest state in demand for nurses, after California. However, according to the Texas Health and Human Services' report, Updated Nurse Supply and Demand Projections 2018-2032, the state anticipates future shortages in most nursing roles, including LVNs, RNs, and CNMs, in relation to projected demand for each nurse type by 2032.

The report also highlights that in 2018, the supply of RNs was insufficient to fill 251,367 nursing positions, leaving a deficit of more than 57,000 full-time nursing positions. With the nursing workforce projected to grow by nearly one-third by 2032, the demand for nurses is expected to grow by 38.8%, outpacing the supply and leaving approximately 16% of full-time RN jobs unfilled.

Why the Need for Texas Nurses is Urgent

The nursing staffing shortage in Texas is concerning, especially considering the state's population growth. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Texas has increased by 470,000 people since July 2021, making it the largest-gaining state in the nation as of December 2022. With a growing population, the demand for healthcare services will continue to increase, making it even more important to have a plan to close the gap on the nursing staffing shortage.

One of the factors contributing to the nursing staffing shortage is the decrease in enrollment in nursing programs. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that the number of students in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs decreased by 1.4% last year, ending a 20-year period of enrollment growth in programs designed to prepare new registered nurses (RNs). Despite the decrease in enrolled students, nursing schools turned away thousands of qualified applicants last year due largely to a shortage of faculty and clinical training sites.

The spread of COVID-19 has also exacerbated the nursing staffing shortage, with many nursing professionals seeking career changes or experiencing burnout. Research indicates that the ability to deliver necessary care has been impacted by surges in COVID-19 cases.

Make a Plan to Address Nurse Staffing Shortages in Texas

It's crucial for hospitals and healthcare organizations to have a plan to close the gap on the nursing staffing shortage. This can include increasing recruitment efforts, offering incentives for nurses to work in Texas, and investing in nursing education programs to increase the number of qualified nurses entering the workforce. It's also important to address the root causes of the nursing staffing shortage, such as the shortage of nursing faculty and clinical training sites.

Conexus MedStaff can help meet these needs. When you partner with us, we find and place skilled international nurses at your facility. We handle all of their immigration paperwork and credentialing, and we offer our award-winning education program, Conexus Academy, to all Conexus nurses to ensure they are equipped for success.

Contact us today to learn how we can help find excellent nurses to treat patients at your hospital and fill your staffing shortages.