Calling the Shots: Nursing News and Notes

Nurse Shortage Persists Globally

Nurse Shortage Persists Globally

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Even though the economy has picked up and the U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2008, the healthcare community is still experiencing a shortage of RNs that is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for healthcare grows.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is working with colleges, policy makers, nursing organizations, and the media to bring attention to the nursing shortage. AACN is also working to identify strategies to address this important issue. 

According to AACN, there are several indicators that contribute to the current and projected nursing shortage, including:

- RN is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2022, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2012-2022, released in December 2013. The number of RN jobs is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 526,800 or 19%.

  • A cohort of nurses who entered the profession in the 1970s has aged into their 60s and is getting ready to retire. So between now and 2022, not only will there be an expected half-million new nursing jobs from growing demand, another half-million nurses will retire from existing jobs and need to be replaced.

  

  • With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, more than 32 million Americans will soon gain access to healthcare services, which will inevitably require a larger nursing force to match this population.
  • Nursing school enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet the projected demand for RN and APRN services, according to AACN. A 2.6% enrollment increase in entry-level baccalaureate programs in nursing in 2013 is not sufficient to meet the projected demand for nursing services.

Job-seeking RNs can be wooed to the nation's leading hospitals that offer great benefits. Some of the benefits nurses say they are looking for include job autonomy, support from management, work-life balance, competitive salary, technology in the workplace, no-contribution health and prescription drug plans, wellness programs, and generous paid time off.

What benefits are most important to you? What do you think should be done to help grow the nursing workforce? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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