Nursing Shortage to Hit Crisis Proportion

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 2nd, 2016

The anticipation of a national nursing shortage is alarming. Due to an aging population, the increase in chronic diseases, an aging nursing workforce, and the limited capacity of nursing schools, this shortage is on the brink of crisis, one with troubling implications for patients and healthcare providers.

nursing shortage help wantedAmerica’s 3 million nurses make up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce in America and nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country. Despite that growth, demand is outpacing supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 1.2 million vacancies for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022.

The primary driving force in this looming crisis is the aging Baby Boomer. Today, there are more Americans over the age of 65 than at any other time in history. Between 2010 and 2030, the population of senior citizens will increase by 75 % to 69 million; one in five Americans will be a senior citizen. This number increases to an estimated 88.5 million in 2050.

And as the population ages, demand for health-care services will skyrocket. About 80 % of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 68 % have at least two, according to the National Council on Aging. 

The aging population and chronic diseases are creating the perfect storm driving demand for nurses. Adding to the problem is the fact that that the country’s nurses are also aging. Around a million registered nurses are currently older than 50, meaning one-third of the current nursing workforce will reach retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years. Nearly 700,000 nurses are projected to leave the labor force by 2024.

To learn how to recruit nurses and to increase their retention, visit SelfCare for HealthCareContact me today for a complimentary consultation about what’s working and what’s not working in terms of wellness at your facility.

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