County Faces Ongoing Nurse Shortage
San Luis Obispo County faces a nursing shortage that likely will continue because of a lack of new nurses, a grand jury report found, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports.
According to the report, local hospitals are satisfied with recruits from Cuesta College, but said there are not enough nurses in the program. However, even if more nurses were trained at Cuesta, limited space at local hospitals would not be able to accommodate them for clinical training, the report found.
Cuesta increased enrollment in its nursing program last fall from 46 to 56 students, but there are often more than 100 people on the program's waiting list.
The grand jury's report applies especially to nurses who are trained to care for critically ill patients or who can assist in specialized surgeries, Nicki Edwards, chief nursing officer at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, said.
Some hospitals are establishing programs to train new graduates to work in specialized wards to address the problem, the Tribune reports (Welton, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 3/29).