According to the World Health Organization, there is a projected shortfall of 10 million healthcare workers by 2030 and here in Tucson, Pima Medical Institute (PMI) is trying to help combat the shortage.

Gregory Johnson was once a chef and baker, but he is now set to graduate in December with his Associates Degree in Nursing from the PMI.

I don’t want to just do anything for job security, Johnson explained. I want something that I’m going to thrive in and that I can give back to my community.

Johnson is no stranger to the healthcare industry as his husband is a doctor and his mom is a nurse. During the COVID-19 pandemic he made the decision to change his career path.

Johnson personally feels the importance of having enough medical workers staffed from an experience his own grandmother had while at a hospital.

Her nurse had nine patients and the nurse gave her the wrong medication, Johnson said. She knew it was the wrong medication. She didn’t take it and she was like, Yeah, I don’t trust it (hospitals) anymore.

However, Johnson hopes to be part of the solution.

He said, I think that adding more people into the medical field will minimize that rotating door and give patient care the adequate time it needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have implications on the staffing of healthcare providers.

PMI Campus Director Todd Matthews said, Many that did not enter back into the healthcare field have created that additional shortage, but I think what we’re finding today is that there’s a lot of people that are passionate about health care that truly want to make a difference and are excited to get into that field.

Johnson is one of those people who is passionate about the field. He hopes to work in a hospitals neonatal intensive care unit.

It’s about giving them the best possible outcome for survival so that they can grow up. I think that’s where I need to be, Johnson added.

The PMI hosts open houses throughout the year in hopes of recruiting Tucsonans into the career field especially at a time like now.