With America’s nursing shortage and the soaring aging population, the nation’s largest senior living provider has launched a student loan reimbursement program with the goal of attracting more nurses to work in assisted living. Brookdale’s initiative comes as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the country’s nurse shortfall will exceed one million by 2022. People 65 and above are expected to comprise 16 percent of America’s population in 2020 and nearly 20 percent in 2030, compared to 13 percent in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Brookdale operates more than 1,120 senior living communities in 47 states.
At Brookdale assisted living communities, nurses are hired as health and wellness directors, overseeing clinical services at a community including setting standards, leading health and wellness programming, and managing care associates. “This is a different kind of path than hospital nursing and it is a very important one,” said Kim Estes, senior vice president of clinical services for Brookdale. “Rather than providing hands-on care, these nurses shape the overall quality and content of care their community’s seniors receive on a daily basis.”
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