Ohio Nursing Shortage Not Expected to Impact Mid-Ohio Valley

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Economists expect Ohio to become a major attraction for those seeking jobs in the health field.

Ohio, Texas and California are said to be the three states in the greatest need of nurses and other health professionals, and the cause could be the number of baby boomers.

Local health officials say while there are medical needs with every age group, chronic health issues with the aging population is one of the biggest concerns.

Officials with Marietta Memorial Hospital say the Mid-Ohio Valley is fortunate that the nursing shortage doesn't seem to mirror the rest of the state.

Spokesperson, Jennifer Offenberger, says the hospital works closely with several local schools where the students tend to feed into the hospital's health system.

"Many of those students are an older age student. They're not your typical 17,18,19 year olds. So, if you've already established yourself in your community and there are opportunities here, you want to stay here," Offenberger said.

The three schools the Memorial Health System works with include Washington State Community College, WVU Parkersburg and Hocking Tech.

Offenberger says this helps keep the nursing vacancy rate at just about two to three percent, compared to the rest of the state's seven to eight percent.

It's estimated that by the year 2020, Ohio will have a shortage of 32,000 nurses.

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