KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The University of Kansas School of Nursing has announced the launch of the Kansas Nursing Workforce Center to address multiple crises in the field of nursing.

The new center will be housed at KU School of Nursing in Kansas City, Kansas but its purpose will be statewide, which is to foster collaboration among nursing stakeholders to address shortages of nurses and nursing faculty.

The nursing profession is in crisis, both nationally and in Kansas,” dean of the KU School of Nursing, Sally Maliski said.

Maliski also cited reasons such as the pandemic, baby boomers retiring as reasons why the nursing field is facing challenges.

“As we saw the growing crisis of nurse and nurse educator shortages, we knew something had to be done to address this in a unified collaborative manner,” Maliski said. “Also, Kansas was one of only 10 states that did not have a nursing workforce center to help address this critical issue for Kansans.”

Associate clinical professor at KU, Amy Garcia, will be the center’s director.

“The Kansas Nursing Workforce Center will do things that matter,” Garcia said. “We will help people find their pathway to becoming a nurse. We will develop programs to help nurses find joy in their work. We will study the supply of, and demand for, nurses and provide reports to help communities find and keep the nurses they need. And we will convene schools, employers, associations and government to find better ideas to strengthen nursing and resolve the ongoing shortage of nurses.”

An initial budgetary and operational support has been provided by the KU School of Nursing. It is anticipated that the center will pursue additional funding, including research and program grants, to support the efforts.

The center will form an advisory board this fall, with plans for additional expansion of the board in subsequent years.

“Nurses matter. People trust nurses to be there when they are sick, injured or simply trying to be healthy,” Garcia said. “Every Kansan should have access to high-quality nursing care. And nurses should have access to the education and support they need to excel in their jobs.”