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NJ nursing shortage has reached crisis stage, state nurses association says


A recent study found that a third of nurses had left hospital bedside work in the past three years

Nurses — there haven’t been enough of them in New Jersey and in the country as well for many years. A study by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, the biggest union of registered nurses in New Jersey, found that a third of nurses have left the bedside in hospitals in the past three years.

Sandra Foley is head of the New Jersey State Nurses Association. She said nurses are just getting older.

“The average age of the nurse at this time is 52 years of age and then if you look before that, before the pandemic, and it wasn’t much different,” she said.

The study found though that newer nurses, those with five years or less on the job, were the most likely to consider leaving the bedside because of the staffing shortage which leads to burnout and stress.

“For the nurses, the registered nurses, the LPN’s (licensed practical nurse), and the APN’s (advanced practice nurse), Baby Boomers, going through this pandemic, and you know, we saw, you saw, we all saw what was going on, and they’re like you know what, this is just way too much,” said Foley.

“Emotionally it was very stressful and physically it was very stressful so I want to say post-pandemic, so it used to be you know we were in trouble, but now we’re in a crisis.”

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.