Nursing Shortage Woes

by A Guest Author

Many states across the nation are reporting that the shortage of nurses is not improving. The state of Massachusetts recently conducted a survey across state hospitals, and results show that the shortage is on the rise. Experts are predicting that the issue will worsen over the next few years due to the economic condition of our nation. Many hospitals are turning to travel nursing to fill positions that would otherwise be left vacant.

Universities across the nation are also reporting that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find professors to teach nursing courses. There has recently been a larger number than usual of retiring professors. One school in particular, the University of Virginia, had 25% of their nursing faculty retire this past year. Deans are finding it difficult to find trained professionals to fill these teaching vacancies, which means they have to turn students away. One study showed that over 75,000 qualified applicants were turned away from nursing schools because there weren’t enough professors to teach them. If the problem continues our nation is not going to be able to fill nursing vacancies because there won’t be any people trained in the field.

Further, because of the nursing shortage, those looking to advance their education are not able to because they are needed at the workplace. One survey revealed that nurses interested in pursuing careers as professors are not able to find the time because they are working so much overtime. Many nurses understand they’re needed at their place of employment and put their patients first thus foregoing any continuation of their education.

Research shows that within eight years there can be as many as 1 million unfilled nursing jobs. Hospitals and universities across the country are working to come up with solutions to this possible devastating issue. Travel nursing has eased pain in some areas; however, this may not solve all the long-term problems. With the problem possibly worsening over the next few years a plan needs to be established to avoid as much damage as possible.

Universities and hospitals need to get the word out to the public that the shortage is not improving. Programs need to be created for nurses looking to advance so that teaching vacancies can be filled. Once teaching vacancies can be filled than our country can continue educating people interested in a career in nursing. Without a plan, there is no way that the issue can get solved.

About The Author

Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sean August 28, 2012 at 8:36 am

There may indeed be a nursing shortage in certain states and areas (particularly rural regions), but most other sites point to no shortage of nurses in many areas because of older nurses staving off retirements and part-time nurses going full-time to earn a little extra money to help their families. As the economy rights itself in the years to come this trend may reverse.

The faculty shortage is most certainly an impending problem, but some programs are actually increasing their roster of new students. There are several reports in newspapers throughout the country of new graduates having trouble finding jobs. Those getting training for anything less than a Bachelors of Nursing in particular are having trouble, but even BSN grads are running into job search problems.

In short, I think your article is presenting only a half truth.


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