State faces nursing shortage, despite increase in nursing school applications

May 4, 2021

NJ Spotlight News speaks with Rutgers School of Nursing’s Dean Linda Flynn and Class of ’21 student Jeremy Baptista

Health care professionals worried there would be a drop in nursing school applications after a year filled with images and stories of long and difficult hours during the coronavirus pandemic. But Judy Persichilli, commissioner of the state Department of Health, says applications are up, a trend that has been seen at Rutgers School of Nursing, where applications have risen by about 36%.

However, Dean Linda Flynn (PhD, RN, FAAN) says the increase doesn’t come close to meeting New Jersey’s current nursing shortage. “We currently have between a 10 or 11% vacancy rate for our RN jobs across New Jersey…” There is also a shortage of certified nursing assistants to work in long-term care facilities.