The most challenging aspect of becoming a nurse in the State of Kentucky at this time is similar to the problem that prospective nursing students are facing throughout the United States. A shortage of nursing faculty results in thousands of qualified applicants being turned away frequently. Online nursing programs may be the answer for many students facing this dilema. The educational requirements to become a registered nurse in the State of Kentucky involve obtaining an associate degree. Online nursing programs offering a degree in science with a major in nursing are available and actually may be more appealing to some students.
The State of Kentucky has not yet been hit as hard as many other states with the national nursing shortage crisis, but the supply of nurses is expected to fall short of demand beginning in 2012. It's estimated that by 2020 Kentucky will require an additional 6,800 nurses to fill Kentucky nursing positions in a variety of clinical settings. The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis has reported that by 2020 there will be a shortage of more than one million nurses nationwide.
Along with the shortage of qualified nursing faculty to train and mentor prospective nurses are several other factors fueling this impending nursing shortage. Many nurses currently in place within the workforce are aging and will soon be retiring. The baby boomer generation is a huge segment of the nation's population that will soon place a massive strain on the health care system. Nurses are the front-line caregivers who will be needed to provide services to these aging individuals. The culmination of all of these elements will make a career choice in Kentucky nursing a wise decision for those looking for a second career or new high school graduates who desire job security and personal satisfaction from helping others.