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Nursing News: Nursing Shortage Looms

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 23rd, 2013

Some think that the economic downturn eliminated the nation’s nursing shortage, but we can’t be fooled. Older nurses have delayed retirement, part-time nurses became full-time, and nurses who had left the workforce returned. As a result, some new RNs are having trouble finding jobs. Most admit, however, that they are not getting the first-choice jobs.

The large number of aging nurses virtually guarantees that in the near future we will have an exodus of workforce. That will coincide with an increase in demand for caring of our aging population and we will see a dramatic shortage.

A continuing sluggish economy or severe cutbacks in health care funding may stave off the problem temporarily. Although interest in nursing seems high, the nursing education system has lacked the capacity to handle demand, and many applicants to schools are denied admission.

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One response to “Nursing News: Nursing Shortage Looms”

  1. Loretta McClure says:

    I believe one of the reasons for the nursing shortage, esp. in our hospitals, is the increasing nurse to patient ratio. Years ago, nurses had only 3, maybe 4 patients to care for. Nurses now have close to double that number of patients to care for plus many nurses are working 12-hour shifts. While hospitals are seeing a terrific bottom-line in profits, hospitals are also seeing a less than terrific bottom-line in patient care and over-worked, frazzled nurses. While the salary for many nurses has skyrocketed over the last decade, fewer people are willing to work 12-hour days and be responsible for up to 10 patients. A middle-ground must be found, one that will allow for profitability and that will up the ante on superior patient care and cause less frazzled nerve for nurses.

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