KCET’s ‘Life&Times Tonight’ Examines California Nursing Shortage
KCET's "Life&Times Tonight" last Friday examined the "critical shortage" of nurses in California, a problem that has "left the state on the brink of a medical meltdown." Many hospitals in the state "can't find enough nurses to meet the needs of patients," and although "scores of would-be-nurses" apply to programs at colleges and universities, many schools "don't have the space or the money educate them." According to "Life&Times," California has the lowest ratio of nurses to residents in the nation -- a problem that will "get worse" as many older nurses begin to retire in the next 10 years. The state will "need an additional 60,000 new nurses over the next 20 years" to replace nurses who retire or leave the profession. However, "there are fewer and fewer places" that offer nursing programs, "Life&Times" reports. Several large private universities, including the University of Southern California, have ended their nursing programs, and state universities and community colleges "don't have the money or the space" to "pick up the slack" ("Life&Times Tonight," KCET, 5/10). The program is available online in RealPlayer. A transcript of the program is also available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.