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Nursing shortage, a major healthcare issue - Research Paper Example

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Nursing Shortage, a Major Healthcare Issue Nursing Shortage, a Major Healthcare Issue Introduction The shortage of nurses in U.S has assumed serious proportion in last few years. American Association of Colleges of Nursing defines nursing shortage as the insufficient number of qualified nurses to meet the future needs of the country in a given healthcare settings…
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Download file to see previous pages The seriousness of the matter can be gauged from the following reports. In July 2007, American Hospital Association released a report that U.S hospitals needed approximately 116,000 RNs to fill vacant positions. Percentage wise this translated into 8.1 percent of occupied positions. Dr. Peter Buerhaus and his team estimated that shortages of registered nurses in the U.S. would reach as high as 500,000 as per their report released in 2008. They stated in their report that demand for RNs is likely to grow by 2-3 percent each year. (Nursing Shortage…) The 2008 survey of registered nurses indicate that as of March 2008, there were 3063,162 licensed registered nurses staying in the U.S. This survey indicated that only 153,806 RNs were found to be working more over the last survey of 2004. However, it was found that 444,668 RNs obtained their license between 2004 and 2008. This indicates that 291,000 RNs surely went out of nursing services either due to retirements or due to other reasons. (The Registered Nurse (a)…) This trend surely indicates that matter could become grave in few years time. U.S. Bureau of Health Professions report supply demand projections of Registered Nurses up to the year 2020 that is depicted in the following graph. National Supply and Demand Projections for RNs, 2000 to 2015 Source: Bureau of Health Professions, RN Supply and Demand Projections URL: History and Evolution of Shortages of Nurses in Healthcare Though nursing shortages are observed from the days of World War II, it has impacted now significantly. The four factors that have contributed heavily in creating the shortages of nurses can be described as per the following. 1. Rise in population of U.S 2. A fewer people opting for the career in nursing 3. A generation called baby boomer is now retiring to create pressure on health care services. 4. Ageing workforce gets out of nursing services In 1950, U.S population was 152,271,000 that have now almost doubled at 307,212,123 in 2009. Population has gone up at the rate of 1.8 percent per year. In view of the increasing standards of health, nursing population need to rise at much higher rate than the general population rise but that is not happening. The reasons for shortages in nursing are not sudden. The results obtained from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses carried out in 2000 indicated that too few people are choosing careers in nursing. The statistical data as available for the employment of young between 1980 and 2000 are worth noting to indicate the trend. In 1980, 52.9 percent of RNs were the age below 40 and 26 percent were the age below 30. In 2000, 31.7 percent of RNs were the age below 40 and 10 percent were the age below 30. (The Registered Nurse (b)…) Shortages of nurses are also being felt because baby booming generation (born between 1946 and 1964) is now getting retired causing increasing pressure on healthcare services and so on the services of nurses. Ageing and trained workforce gets out of nursing services due to retirement or other social reasons causing more pressure on services. Currently, the nursing profession is the largest segment of the U.S healthcare system. Nurse to Patient Ratios are under pressure affecting healthcare services severely. Unfortunate part is that there is a continuous decline in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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