The Nursing Shortage Is Exploding
Nurses comprise the largest workforce in the hospitals and are highly trained. Yet, in your practice, I’m sure you feel that the nursing shortage is not only here but is with us in full force. We are asked to do more with less.
Mandatory staffing initiatives that went before a number of state legislatures were struck down due to creative advertising by health care institutions.
In a 2010 article, the Institute of Medicine released a report on the future of nursing calling for an 80% increase in the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses to join the work force. We fell far short of that with only 56% of R.N.’s prepared at the baccalaureate or graduate degree level.
According to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, U.S. nursing schools in 2018 turned away more than 75,000 qualified applicants for baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs due to insufficient numbers of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space and clinical preceptors as well as budget constraints.
Over our next 10 years the Health Resources and Services Administration projects that more than 1,000,000 registered nurses will reach retirement age. The number of nurses leaving the work force has grown steadily and is expected to be 80,000 by 2020. That’s almost the number of Registered Nurses in the state of Indiana.
According to the American Nurses Association, opportunities in nursing are growing 15% faster more than all other occupations.
There are a number factors to be attributed to the nursing shortage such as nurse retirement and lack of education. This should serve as a wakeup call to hospitals to realize that nurses need to be better treated and are not an indispensable commodity.
When we had a big nursing shortage 30 years ago, there were lots of initiatives such as sign on bonuses and positions created called nurse recruiters.
What ideas might you have to ensure an adequate number of nurses to take care of patients?