South Carolina predicted to face nursing shortage by 2030

October 30, 2018 GMT

Although South Carolina is expected to increase its workforce in nursing more than any other state, the projected growth will not be enough to keep up with demand for nurses, according to a recent report published by registerednursing.org.

The organization is using statistics collected from the Bureau of Health Workforce to make these predictions.

“For years the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other organizations have been projecting a shortage of nurses,” said Administrative Director of Human Resources at Aiken Regional Medical Centers Paul Hanna. “It’s not new news, we just keep hearing about it as we go forward.”

South Carolina is expected to experience a growth rate of 69.4 percent in the field of nursing, according to the study, which equates to about 26,600 new jobs.

However, by 2030 the state is expected to face a shortage of more than 10,000 RNs.

The demand for nurses is projected to increase nationwide due to a variety of factors: longer life expectancy, growing emphasis on preventative care, and increasing rates of obesity and diabetes.

“You can’t provide patient care without nurses…Nurses are vital to the care of patients,” said ARMC Chief Nursing Officer Ginger Hawkins, who has worked in the field of nursing for 40 years.

ARMC staff said they do not currently have a nursing shortage, but they are always looking forward to see how they can stay on top of recruiting to combat the looming predictions.

“We’re always looking forward to see, okay what can we do to make sure we have enough competent, qualified staff to make sure we can take care of our community,” Hanna said. “So that endeavor’s been happening for quite some time, and we’re still discussing it every day.”

Running partnerships with local universities are one of many ways ARMC recruits new talent into their nursing programs. They also run programs as early as middle school to generate interest in students.

“With USC Aiken, we have a relationship where their students come into our facility to preform their clinical rotation, so they’re getting hands on experience here, training under registered nurses in our organizations,” Hanna said. “That helps us to meet with those students and draw them into our organization. And of course we partner with Aiken Tech and do the very same thing.”

Another concern, Hawkins said, is retaining the talent they already have.

“We try to create an environment that associates do not want to leave,” Hawkins said. ”...We also create environments where we’re trying to attract not only new graduates but experienced nurses...We have a very strong nurse residency program we started about three years ago that we continue to evolve. It does help us stay on top of recruiting efforts, especially for experienced staff.”

South Carolina would be one of only seven states to not meet the demand for nurses. In terms of percentage of workforce missing, South Carolina would be surpassed only by Alaska.

The other states expected to have nursing shortages are Texas, California, New Jersey, Alaska, Georgia, and South Dakota.

All other states are expected to have a surplus in the nursing workforce, according to the study.