A hospital room
Bill McChesney

Many Illinois nurses are nearing retirement. Baby Boomers in the state are also aging and may need more care. Will there be enough nurses to meet the demand?

Sean Crawford/WUIS

The University of Illinois Springfield is branching out into the health field. Starting next fall, a new nursing program will start accepting students. About 30 are expected to enroll in the first year of the four-year program. Memorial Health System is donating $2 million, which includes scholarships and the hospital will provide facilities for teaching. 

UIS Chancellor, Susan Koch says she's often heard from students, parents, and others in the community that the university needs to provide medical training.

While state policymakers throughout the nation wrestle with the rising cost of health care, they're becoming increasingly worried about a shortfall in the number of caregivers. 

Studies suggest that Illinois and most other states will face a nursing shortage in the near future if they don't already. Yet quantifying this problem, and finding a way to solve it, is proving difficult.