WILMINGTON -– It's estimated there are more than 100,000 vacant nursing positions nationwide, and that number is on the rise. Local nursing graduates are looking forward to making a difference. Thirty-one people graduated from UNCW's School of Nursing this past weekend. Some are taking jobs in other part of the country to combat the shortage and the majority are staying in North Carolina. Twenty-three-year-old Alex Scarmeas is one of the new grads. She's studying for her boards and already landed a job at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She decided on nursing early on in college when she was impressed by how well nurses took care of her father when he had surgery. It's that personal part of medicine that comes with nursing that she says draws her to the field. Scarmeas says a big part of the national nursing shortage is the need for teachers she encourages people to go for their masters to teach. Scarmeas said, "Your adrenaline just gets going. It's not boring at all, nursing is not boring. If I could think of any other career where you leave work at the end of the day knowing that you changed lives, there's nothing that beats that." I also spoke with nursing manager gabby pike who says it's exciting to be part of new nurses' experiences and to be part of fulfilling their dreams. Pike also says there are four nursing programs in this region, so the shortage doesn't really affect this area.
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