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“The new nursing shortage” – Did you read it?

Thinkstock / Jose Luis Pelaez Inc.

Thinkstock / Jose Luis Pelaez Inc.

In a recent article, USA Today brought up the “nursing shortage” conversation again by pointing to baby boomers, the Affordable Care Act and the many retiring nurses across the country.

This got us to wondering about your opinion on the ongoing nursing shortage debate and how you think it should be handled going forward. Because, of course, you’re there in the front lines every single day!

Here are some key excerpts from the article:

  • On one hand, things are looking pretty dandy for nursing in the United States: the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 19 percent growth in employment for registered nurses from 2012–2022. Compare that to an 11 percent average growth rate for all occupations. That’s a reason to celebrate during National Nurses Week. But here’s the twist: The recent recession made it more difficult for entry-level nurses to find work, as more experienced nurses put off retirement and stayed in the job force. So now there’s a nurse shortage – and it’s happening all over the world.
  • The demand for health care is only expected to increase in the US. With baby boomers aging, 2–3 million additional patients will enter into Medicare each year, says Peter McMenamin, senior policy fellow and health economist at the American Nurses Association.
  • And what about the more than 8 million people who have already signed up for health care via the Affordable Care Act? The new demands from patients getting insurance through Obamacare are still too early to tell, but more people will likely increase demand.
  • Between now and 2022, not only will there be an expected half-million nursing jobs from growing demand — but also another half-million nurses will retire and need to be replaced.
  • Title VIII funding for nursing education has been eaten away by inflation over the years. Plus, it’s tough to replace aging faculty at nursing schools with well-paid nurse practitioners and midwives.

Read the entire story here, then tell us, does your hospital have a shortage of nurses? Do YOU think there is a nursing shortage, or a possibility of one in the future? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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