By Ken Molestina

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The nursing and staff shortages at local hospitals are keeping schools and training programs in North Texas busy. They say they’re trying to get health care professionals into the line as fast as possible.

The recent wave of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is causing concerns for those tasked with helping the sick.

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“I’ve had a couple of them say it’s just not going stop because we have the delta variant now and the lambda variant coming up from Peru and they say when is it going to stop?” Dr. Juanita Flint, vice provost of the School of Health Sciences at Dallas College, said.

Flint said her program currently has 538 nursing students in total and that 220 of them came on board just this year.

While those students train to enter the frontlines in the coming months, Flint said there are two main factors creating the shortage of nurses on emergency room floors.

The first is burnout. “They are getting tired, they are getting frustrated and they don’t want to do this anymore, and it’s very disheartening because us nurses know what all we have to become licensed and the hard work it is,” Flint said.

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In addition, she said there aren’t enough nursing instructors available to teach more students.

“We are constantly looking for nurses with masters degrees in nursing or higher doctorates to teach in our programs. We could take more nursing students if we had more nursing faculty,” Flint said.

Flint added there has never been a need this great in the profession.

“Folks that are being offered two or three jobs. I hear that the pay differential if you are working COVID units are 10, 20, 30 bucks an hour more on top of their salary so the money is out there,” she said.

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Flint said their nursing for registered nurses last anywhere from 16 months to two years.