The Problem of Nursing Shortage

768 Words3 Pages
Nursing is probably one of the most revered caring professions in the United States and elsewhere today. Many are attracted to this line of work by an inner drive to make a difference in the lives of others and thereby to gain a sense of meaning in their own lives. Despite this, however, there are significant shortages in the profession today. Several factors influence this, including the aging Baby Boomer generation, training staff shortages, and stress levels when entering the profession for the first time. Courchane (2011) defines the nursing shortage in the United States as a profession that "will soon be in desperate need for Americans" during a time when many Americans are in desperate need for work. While the economic downturn has somewhat eased the general shortage of nurses, the author projects more chronic shortfalls in the future even as demand is expected to soar. While nursing is one of the top hiring professions in the country, and expected to be so for at least the next decade, there appears to be a critical gap between rising demand and a shortage of supply, even with current unemployment rates. One influencing factor in the nursing shortage is the aging Baby Boomer population, where more older people will need more medical care and hence more nurses. At the same time, the nursing population itself is also aging, with more nurses nearing retirement age. These two factors are likely to create a tandem shortage for the coming years. Training is also an
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