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Current issues in nursing: The shortage, solutions and the "travel nursing boom"

Registered Nurses Bonnie Carroll (left) and Brooke Ryan draw blood from Gray.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR
Registered Nurses in Connecticut.

A national nursing shortage has deepened during the pandemic. A recent survey by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses found that 92% of nurses felt that the pandemic had "depleted nurses in their hospital, and that their career would be shorter than they had intended as a result."

This hour, we hear about a new plan to address part of the pipeline problem. Yale New Haven Health System is partnering with four area nursing schools to expand enrollment and, hopefully, the local workforce.

Plus, lawmakers want to look into the agencies recruiting travel nurses. We hear more about the context for a “travel nursing boom" from author Sarah DiGregorio and Paul Banach, an ICU travel nurse from Connecticut.

DiGregorio underscores working conditions and a longer-term "undervaluing" of nurses. She says "the problematic explosion of traveling nursing is only a symptom of a longer-running, self-inflicted disaster: Over the long-term, hospitals have failed to hire and support enough nurses to weather crises."


  • Beth Beckman: Chief Nursing Executive, Yale New Haven Health System
  • Paul Banach: Intensive Care Travel Nurse, MPH, BSN, RN
  • Sarah DiGregorio: Author, Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human
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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show 'Where We Live.' She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH.
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