Two Ways Every Person Can Help Ease the Nursing Shortage!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 1st, 2008

National Nurse’s Week kicks off in May and once again shortage issues will make the headlines. All citizens should take pause to see how they might help improve the situation. People should be concerned for the welfare of their families, and themselves. Our nation is short 126,000 nurses today and by the year 2015 the shortage, a world-wide crisis, is expected to reach 500,000. One Colorado nurse believes there is something that every one of us can do to help. LeAnn Thieman, LPN, suggests two simple things that could start a wave to improve the situation for the future.

1. Thank a nurse today. For doing what they do everyday – which is to show care and compassion and mix it with science. “Nurse’s give a lot,” Thieman says. “With cutbacks in healthcare today, nurses are expected to do more with less. They’re tired, over worked and overwhelmed. They need to feel appreciated. A kind word or gesture may keep a nurse from quitting.”

2. Encourage young and old, men and women to enter the healthcare profession. It’s not just a career for women. “We all see unique qualities in our youth and we should help steer them to investigate healthcare options,” claims Thieman, a nurse for over 30 years and co-author of the New York Times best-selling Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. “We need more caring people to enter the field and, if an individual wants to make a difference in the world, then nursing is where they truly can. It’s exciting, rewarding and offers lots of challenges and opportunities,” says Thieman. “Most nurses don’t choose this career for the hours or pay. And it isn’t just about the skill or technology; it’s about the heart, the compassion, the call to service that sets a nurse apart. So, thank the ‘old’ nurses and encourage the ‘new.’ You just might keep a tired soul from quitting and ensure there will be enough nurses to care for you and your family when you need one!”

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