The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment of Registered Nurses (RNs) is expected to grow 23 percent between 2006 and 2016 with 587,000 new jobs.
However, nursing shortage statistics show that there will not be enough RNs to fill these positions.
Possible Explanations for the Nursing Shortage
Restrictions on work visas
Restrictions on work visas limit healthcare facilities from hiring foreign nurses to fill vacant positions.
Average age of nurses
The average age of a nurse is 42.5, meaning many are retiring or will be retiring in the near future.
Universal healthcare reform will decrease the number of uninsured in 2019 by 32million, putting greater demand on already strained hospitals.
Understaffed nursing schools
Many nursing schools are forced to turn away qualified applicants because of a limited number of faculty members.
Baby boomers are reaching retirement age, increasing the demand for healthcare services and the number of nurses needed to fulfill them.
As the population grows, so does the need for healthcare administration.
Projected Nursing Shortfall
The combination of fewer people going into nursing and the retirement of current nurses is projected to produce a shortfall of more than 1 million nurses in the United States by 2020.
Nursing Shortage Solutions
Increase job security
As the number of available nursing jobs increases, more people may decide to pursue a nursing degree.
Nursing schools need to reassess the types of programs and degrees they offer to attract and retain students.
Reverse bidding allows nurses to fill open shifts through a Web-based system. The RN is matched with a vacancy based on his or her qualifications.
Higher wages will motivate more people to enter the nursing field.
Staffing by a free agency
Some healthcare facilities use free agents to fill vacant shifts. Free agency nurses to not have a set schedule. They bid on shifts that were not filled by a healthcare facilities regular staff. A free agent nurse bids on an hourly rate or a shift bonus.
Choose a travel nursing company
Travel nursing is a unique and specialized field of nursing which allows certain healthcare professionals to circle the nation and help hospitals fill positions during this constant and growing nursing shortage.
Average Salary of Nursing Jobs
- An LVN is a License Vocational Nurse which is a nurse that is licensed by the state to provide routine patient care.
- A RN (Registered Nurse) has completed a course of study and passed the proper examinations to become licensed and registered.
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree allows more opportunity for employment, increased responsibility, and career progression.
- LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) care for the sick, injured, and disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses.
- Nurse practitioner programs can perform many of the duties that a physician can perform such as performing physical exams and prescribing medications.
Nursing Fun Facts
More men than ever are entering the profession.
By some reports, men now make up nearly 20 percent of all nursing students.
The BLS cites registered nursing as the largest healthcare occupation, encompassing 2.6M jobs across the US.
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