Local nurses raise awareness about nursing shortage during National Nursing Week

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Nurses are being celebrated across the country, as Bowling Green and the surrounding area continues to experience a nursing shortage.

During National Nursing week, many healthcare professionals are voicing their concerns about a nationwide nursing shortage.

The issue is two-fold. There is a constant demand for more registered nurses and not enough people getting into the profession.

“We’re constantly needing an influx of people to come in because there’s always a shortage of people that are going to be at the bedside taking care of patients day in and day out. We see it. We work it. We know that there is a need for it,” said Samantha Dorris, registered nurse at The Medical Center at Bowling Green

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for registered nurses is expected to grow by 15% from 2016 to 2026.

“The nursing shortage it is a big problem. A lot of people come into nursing and they don’t really know what it’s about. They try it and they decide not to. We have so many people that go on to do other things, it’s constantly evolving.

More baby boomers retiring and fewer nurses are around to treat an increasing number of patients, leading to the shortage.

“We feel the constraints but we’re able to take care of our patients. So, we’re able to meet the needs of the community still. We’re always looking for great nurses,” said Patrick Maloney, director of perioperative services at The Medical Center at Bowling Green.

Dorris graduated from Western Kentucky University and finds giving back the Bowling Green community rewarding.

“It just means that you’re able to give back to the community that gave to you. To give you the education to do what you wanted to do, and be someone that someone can come in and you can relate with them,” Dorris said.

Dorris has been selected as the Med Center Health’s 2019 Nurse of the Year and she was recognized at a ceremony on Tuesday.