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'We're running out of people' | Lawmakers push to tackle nursing shortage with new education funding

Rep. Rosa DeLauro said Monday that more than 610,000 nurses intend to leave the job by 2027.

DERBY, Conn. — Local lawmakers have set their sights on the state’s nursing shortage crisis – as the demand for skilled nurses continues to rise.

Healthcare officials and state leaders are sounding the alarm, as the shortage of nurses is impacting patients in Connecticut and across the country. The problem is projected to become more severe.

"We’re facing a crisis in Connecticut, we’re running out of people," said Joe Carbone, the President and CEO of the WorkPlace.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro said Monday that more than 610,000 nurses intend to leave the job by 2027.

She, alongside Sen. Richard Blumenthal, announced a nearly $3 million grant to the WorkPlace in Bridgeport. The company projects that over the next five years, it will train about 200 nursing professionals both in the classroom and in on-site clinical rotations.

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Through WorkPlace, students can earn an associate's or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The program is completely free and targets workers already in the healthcare industry, putting them right in the nursing pipeline. The bulk of these workers will be from underrepresented and marginalized communities.

It's one step to tackling the ongoing crisis but certainly is not the final answer.

"We need 3,000 nurses every year and we’re only graduating 1,900," said Blumenthal.

Officials said nurses are leaving the industry at record rates after the pandemic.

Now legislators are hoping this program will become a pipeline for people wanting to enter the nursing field, who before now just couldn't afford the cost.

"There are people that take that first step but need a push," said Carbone.

For more information on the program, click here.

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


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