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Kentucky Nurses Association seeking help with shortage and burnout issues

Stu Johnson

Kentucky faces ongoing nursing issues. These problems include shortages, retention, and burnout. The chief operating officer of the Kentucky Nurses Association says there are options to address these matters. Delanor Manson said lawmakers could act during the general session. Manson noted heightened efforts need to be made to see some 2000 travel nurses return to their Kentucky home.

“Organizations and hospitals in long-term care are using travel nurses. But, that’s because they have no options. But, it’s not sustainable in terms of the cost. When you have to pay a travel nurse 150 to 200 dollars an hour. That is just not sustainable for caring for patients,” said Manson.

Manson said Kentucky currently has about 89-thousand nurses working in areas like acute and long-term care, public health, and school health. The Nurses Association leader said projections place the need at 16,000 additional nurses by 2024.

Manson noted higher pay for on-the-floor nurses and those in faculty positions would help. She also believes giving nurses prescriptive authority would boost retention. It’s an issue that’s been before the general assembly previously, but Manson is optimistic it can move this session.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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