According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, an aging baby boomer population will increase the need for healthcare workers across the country. This trend will also require nursing program graduates to have the knowledge and experience necessary to treat this demographic.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that regional nursing schools are placing more focus on geriatric care as the number of people 65 and older in the state will increase by 40 percent in the next 10 years. The baby boomer population is expected to strain healthcare resources for the next two decades.
To combat this approaching problem, 10 nursing schools in west central Minnesota are increasing curriculum focus on geriatric care.
“Every nurse has to be competent caring for older adults because that’s who they’re going to be caring for given the demographics,” says Christine Mueller, chair of the University of Minnesota adult and gerontological health cooperative.
Mueller adds that the need for healthcare professionals that are competent at caring for older adults is at a “crisis point.”
Experts say that attracting nursing degree seekers who have experience with geriatric care is not the only key to heading off this potential crisis. According to Jennifer Jacobson, a nursing instructor at Minnesota State Community and Technical College-Morehead, more instructors will also be needed.