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Teaching kids early about health care jobs

With a statewide nursing shortage, some say we need to get kids involved. Newswatch 16's Sarah Buynovsky explains.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Pennsylvania has a nursing shortage.

“We need more nurses, we need more health care professionals, in general, to step in and fill these roles, we have nurses retiring, we need to get new nurses in, properly train them and get them ready to take over," said Lauren Ardiff, health professions teacher at Insight PA Cyber Charter School.

Experts call it a crisis all across the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2022, there will be more than 1 million jobs open for registered nurses.

So, what can be done?

Some educators believe programs in schools could be the fix: teaching kids about health care jobs before they graduate high school.

“So instead of starting at 18, some of these students already had the content at 16, 17 and are able to do the hands-on practical skills at 18 and step in and fill these positions," said Ardiff.

Some schools are already involved with helping young people understand the different kinds of health care jobs.

“They know doctors, they know nurses, but we have certified nursing assistants, we have LPNS. There are other positions in health care."

Those who have programs like this said they bring in health care pros to teach students more: give them a clearer sense of the work.

They say it is the kind of thing schools across the state should be considering.

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