Legislators Hear Final Report on Nursing Shortage

DECEMBER 17, 2004 - Posted at 4:13 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Democratic Senator Brenda Gullett of Pine Bluff is calling her colleagues' attention to Arkansas' nursing shortage.

The Legislative Council today heard a final report on the state's shortage.  Arkansas is short almost 2,000 nurses each year but is turning out only about 800 licensed nurses in its nursing education programs.

Gullet says that in terms of jobs created and taxable income, the benefits of creating the needed nurses can help the economy as much as a Toyota parts plant.

She says she's determined to create a Nursing Workforce Center modeled on one in North Carolina, which supports itself through programs and only requires $500,000 in state funding every two years.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)