TYLER, Texas (KETK) — On Thursday, Tyler Junior College hosted a healthcare job fair, hundreds of students attended the event eager to learn about the opportunities here in East Texas.

America is experiencing a healthcare staffing shortage causing a strain on our system.  Thursday’s event was an effort to recruit future healthcare workers.

Representatives from more than 20 clinics, educational institutions and hospitals were at the event on Thursday. Each institution came to promote jobs for nurses as well as educational opportunities upon graduation from TJC.

“I think it attracted a lot of students from level one all the way to level four. We have opportunities for all of them, so there were a lot of questions on how to expand their nursing career and then obviously how to jump in. It’s never too early to get your foot in the door,” said Christal Carter, UT Health Talent Acquisition Consultant. 

According to The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the country will need more than 200,000 new nurses each year until 2026. The healthcare system is noticing shortages all the way around from long-term care to nurses and physicians.

“Long-term care had the greatest employment loss across the health care continuum. We lost almost 10,000 full-time employees which is about 9% of the staff population,” said Kevin Warren, Texas Health Care Association.

The new UT Tyler School of Medicine, set to open next fall says it received more than 4,000 applications for its first year.

“I love it. I mean we are always looking to hire new people. People are graduating, people are moving up in positions and things like that. We are always needing new candidates to fill those positions,” said Amanda Fain, UT Health Senior Nursing Recruiter.

Federal data shows employment opportunities for nurses are projected to grow at a faster rate than all other occupations through 2026.

The TJC School of Nursing and Health Sciences program’s graduates earn national certification and then are eligible to work in health-related fields in East Texas and beyond. 

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