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Hawai’i nursing schools face shortage of instructors

Despite an ongoing shortage of nurses, Hawai’i nursing schools reject hundreds of qualified applicants due to a lack of instructors to teach them.

Director of the State Center for Nursing Laura Reichhardt said to Hawaii News Now that Hawai’i’s faculty shortage is one of the worst in the country.

“We can’t admit students because we don’t have the experts who can be professors and instructors in nursing school,” Reichhardt said.

Hawai’i’s high cost of living contributes to a lack of willing instructors. According to Hawaii News Now, the starting salary for an instructor is about $80,000, which is $25,000 less than what a registered nurse can make starting off working on the floor at a hospital.

The nurse shortage may also be in part due to a strain on the healthcare system. Locally, the Hawaiʻi State Center for Nursing’s 2021 Nursing Workforce Supply Survey also found that 1 in 4 nurses felt so stressed at work they felt like leaving the profession.

In addition to the shortages, there are few clinical training sites because clinics and facilities are too busy to accommodate more people, Hawaii News Now stated.

In order to interest more instructors, University of Hawai’i (UH) Manoa started a Nursing Education and Leadership Program geared towards registered nurses who’d like to pass their knowledge and experience to the next generation.

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