The Shortage Isn’t Stopping Soon
You’ve likely heard about the “nursing shortage” for years now, and perhaps you think it’s been resolved. However, registered nurses are still at the top of the list when it comes to employment growth (BLS, 2010). Additionally:
- The median age of nurses is 46. More than 50% of the nursing workforce is close to retirement.
- America is seeing vast increases in the number of people over 65. This age group has many medical and health needs, and will put a strain on our health system.
- Recent reforms in healthcare will give millions of people access to the healthcare system. More nurses and health professionals are needed in response.
These factors, combined with an anticipated strengthening of the economy, will create a renewed critical shortage for nurses.
Opportunities for Nurses
Thinking of a career change? Nursing can offer a career that is both personally and financially rewarding. Learn more about nursing and how to get started on your nursing career. If you’re already a nurse, but ready for a change of pace, you may be interested in exploring options for nurse faculty.
Negative Effects of the Nursing Shortage
The nursing shortage affords opportunity, but there are consequences, too. Nurses often need to work long hours under stressful conditions, which can result in fatigue, injury, and job dissatisfaction. Nurses suffering in these environments are more prone to making mistakes and medical errors. Patient quality can suffer. For these reasons, and more, ANA is dedicated to improving the workplace safety for nurses around the nation.
Nursing Shortage Legislation and Strategies
ANA lobbies both houses of congress, as well as the federal agencies, on policies and legislation to bolster the number of RNs and nurse faculty. Find out the latest on nurse staffing issues on Capitol Hill.