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Nursing shortage

Nursing shortage refers to a situation where the demand for nursing professionals, such as Registered Nurses (RNs), exceeds the supply—locally (e.g., within a health care facility), nationally or globally. It can be measured, for instance, when the nurse-to-patient ratio, the nurse-to-population ratio, or the number of job openings necessitates a higher number of nurses than currently available. This situation is observed in developed and developing nations around the world.

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This is just part of the reason why there is a nursing shortage. In 2008, 45% of the nursing workforce was over 50. Which means that 45% of the nursing workforce was in view of retirement. I apologize in advance for the obvious nature of this comment but that is nearly half of the current workforce and those numbers have only risen in the past five years. Job growth in the nursing industry is projected to grow by 22% creating nearly 600,000 jobs by 2018. Nursing programs, in all aspects, can simply not keep up with the demand the industry has now and is making for the future. Most programs have rigorous admission processes and rightfully so but there also are not enough teachers. Only a certain number of students can be taught by a teacher and only so many students are allowed in a hospital for clinicals. All these issues create a dual-ended nursing shortage. Shortages on the creation of nurses and shortages on the way out. Check out these ANA statistics.

Contributed by Landra Rodgerson

A huge concern about the nursing shortage is the rise and popularity of express programs for RNs. An RN should be a minimum of a Bachelors program for the amount of information to be absorbed and the responsibility of a RN once in the workforce. Shortcuts to education, such as AA RN programs and such should not be continued even though the nursing shortage is a concern. It is a greater concern that RNs are not well prepared and educated to save lives after graduation.

Contributed by Lauren Bauer

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