When the economic crisis hit many nurses from the baby boomer generation put off retirement.
But in the future as the economy improves more and more of them will retire or look for different careers.
That’s according to Lucy Marion, dean of the Medical College of Georgia’s School of Nursing.
She says in 5 years the state could be facing a serious nursing shortage if institutions don’t act now:
"The message that we’ve been giving is don’t slow down in your production of new nurses…they’re going to be needed."
Marion says MCG is helping address the problem by offering a nursing masters program in Augusta, Athens, Macon and Americus.
The program is for people who decide to become nurses after earning bachelor’s degrees in unrelated fields.
Marion says as a nursing shortage looms it’s a good time for people to consider making a career change:
"Almost everybody is getting a job in the area that they choose at this time. A few people are having to move but very soon that demand will increase again."
MCG recently got more than $900,000 in federal grants to support nursing programs at the school.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 500,000 registered nurse jobs will be created by 2018.