A Nursing Shortage In 'Pockets' Of Pennsylvania Could Spell Trouble For Patients

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Gaps in medical resources across rural Pennsylvania can be challenging, even for nursing school recruiters hoping to ultimately fill the local workforce.

Betsy Snook, CEO of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, says the number of nurses coming out of Pennsylvania schools is on the upswing overall, but according to Dr. Mary Ellen Glasgow, dean and professor of nursing at Duquesne University, those students may not be headed towards the pockets of the state that need them most.

State Senator Jay Costa will lead the Democrats in Harrisburg for another term at the start of January's legislative session.
Credit Meg Fair / 90.5 WESA

Snook and Glasgow say workplace culture, incentives, education and assignment rotation could all be key to attracting and keeping the next generation of caregivers.

Elsewhere in the program, state Sen. Jay Costa has led the Democrats in Harrisburg for eight years, and was just assigned to another term ahead of the January legislative session. Hear from the long-tenured lawmaker about how his party hopes to address changing tides and his expectation for the freshmen Democratic class.

He also weighs in on the ongoing campaign against seating fellow Democrat Lindsey Williams, who's faced challenges about her residency from Senate Republicans.

And the State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh has been closed for about a year and a half. City and county leaders maintain the property, which flanks the eastern bank of the Ohio River, is prime for reuse, but according to Dennis Davin, state secretary of community and economic development, it’s not clear whether developers agree. Davin says he hopes the property will sell in 2019.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.