Texas Dept. of Health says demand for nurses outpaces supply

Texarkana Community College welcomes nursing students
Hospitals in the ArkLaTex facing nursing shortage
Hospitals in the ArkLaTex facing nursing shortage
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 2:50 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:58 PM CST
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - Health leaders in the ArkLaTex agree there is a national nursing shortage, and these leaders say education is the solution to the problem.

Tiffany West and Shamaurie Lucus are nursing students at Texarkana Community College. Each year, around 200 students are accepted into the nursing program. However, college leaders say this large class will not make a dent in the need for more nurses in the Texarkana area and nationwide.

“We are hoping that we can come in and as new nurses and really try and fill that gap and learn [to] be great nurses and maybe push people in the community to come and be nurses,” said West.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the demand for registered nurses is projected to outpace supply every year through 2032.

“We have lots of room if you are interested,” said Michelle Foggy, a nursing instructor at the college.

Foggy believes the past few years of COVID have added to the nursing shortage. She says the interest in the field is running high.

“We are getting a lot of students from out of town now. A lot of students are coming from Shreveport. We had one last semester who come from center Texas, so they are coming here to get trained,” said Foggy.

At Texarkana Community College, applications to enter the nursing program are accepted once a year. Foggy said, at present, there’s no waiting list to join, but with the nursing shortage increasing, they would like to develop a waiting list.

“We would love [for] people to be banging on our doors to get in here and get educated, so they can bang on the doors of the hospitals, so they can get in and work.”