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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Nursing shortage in Iowa amid COVID-19 pandemic

In addition, there have been numerous issues since nursing school went virtual.

IOWA, USA — Nurses are critical in the fight against coronavirus, and there is a nursing shortage in the state right now.

Central Iowa Works helps minority and foreign born students pay for nursing school, childcare and housing, So higher education can become a reality for these people who wouldn't otherwise have access.

But when coronavirus hit, all nursing school went virtual, making sure students had access to internet was their first hurdle.

But those problems have since compounded.

"So much a part of healthcare training is clinical or practical experience and most times they get that experience in hospitals or clinics or long-term care facilities and with the COVID-19 they were no longer able to get into those places to get their hands on experience," Pat Steele, Director of Central Iowa Works said.

But graduation timelines haven't changed, and the schools are trying to adapt.

Lesly Louis is a nursing student who says learning in an online simulation simply isn't the same.

"Virtually impossible and nurse's job is hands-on. The books can teach you all day long what this that and the other but until you actually get the time with the patient and get hands-on and realize this thing isn't quite the way the book said," Louis noted.

Central Iowa Works is funded through a federal grant. They've enrolled 483 students to receive their CNA, RN or BSN degree.

Text TRACK to 515-457-1026 to get the latest on COVID-19 in Iowa.

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