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Northeast Ohio colleges continue to produce nurses, but state shortage remains

A close up of a female nurse with a stethoscope and a stack of books under her arm.
Many area schools have well-respected nursing programs but the region is still seeing a demand for more nurses.

In late 2023, the Ohio Nurses Association, which represents over 200,000 nurses across the state, declared a “code red” because of the state's ongoing nursing shortage.

That shortage is largely blamed on the coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent burnout nurses experienced after hospitals were overwhelmed with patients.

Legislators at the Ohio Statehouse introduced a bill recently that was aimed at addressing this shortage, which called for increased funding for nursing schools, and for establishing standards for staffing levels at hospitals.

But even with those challenges, nursing persists as a popular option for many, especially here in Northeast Ohio. Several area colleges offer well-respected and diverse nursing programs. Those schools also work closely with the region’s numerous healthcare institutions.

Thursday on the “Sound of Ideas,” we’ll look at how schools across our area are continuing to produce a large number of nurses with a variety of degrees and certifications. We’ll discuss how those coming out of school play into the staffing challenges, and what nursing specialties are the most popular and appealing.

Later in this hour, we’ll check in with beloved Northeast Ohio singer-songwriter Alex Bevan. He recently stopped by the Ideastream studios to speak with Amanda Rabinowitz for her music podcast “Shuffle.”

- Dr. Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, Dean, Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing
- Dr. Melissa Kline, DNP, Senior Vice President-System Chief Nurse Executive, The MetroHealth System
- Dr. Michele Zelko, DNP, Assistant Director Undergraduate Programs, University of Akron School of Nursing
- Dr. Wendy Batch-Wilson, DNP, Dean of Nursing Center of Excellence, Cuyahoga Community College
- Alex Bevan, Musician
- Amanda Rabinowitz, Host and Producer, "Shuffle" and "All Things Considered"

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.