In the United States there is once again a surge in demand for nurses. Due to the U.S.’s aging population, hospitals and nursing homes are seeing a nursing shortage. The numbers of qualified individuals to fill positions is the lowest it has been in some time.
The U.S. was in a similar nursing drought 10 years ago. Some nursing experts have characterized the nursing need as a crisis in the country. Interestingly, nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics has identified nursing as growing at a rate of 16%.
The organization has also projected more than one million people will be working as registered nurses in the country. According to reports, the baby boomer generation is one cause for the nursing shortage. By 2030, the senior citizen population will have increased by 75%. Amazingly, one in five Americans will be classed as a senior citizen. By the year 2050, an estimated 88.5 million U.S. residences will be aged 65 or older.
It is not only the aging population that is causing the nursing shortage in the country. The demand for nurses has also been caused by the retirement older nurses.
In spite of nurses graduating from nursing school, there still are not enough qualified individuals to fill the nursing jobs available.
Some experts have identified other problems with nursing in the U.S. Ed Salsberg, MPH, who studies nursing-workforce issues at the George Washington University School of Nursing, has cited the uneven distribution of nurses.
According to Salsberg, some states in American have more than enough nurses to fill the nursing jobs available. Meanwhile, other regions lack the qualified individuals to fill the role.
While moving qualified individuals to areas with available nursing jobs would be one way to address the shortage, freelance journalist Rebecca Grant has cited an additional solution.
Grant spoke with numerous nursing experts for her article called “The U.S. is running out of nurses” which appeared in The Atlantic in February 2016. Experts told Grant that a national licensing standard for registered nurses would address the nursing shortage. Many qualified nurses tend to stay in a state which initially qualified them, therefore, nurses don’t often move. This prevents areas in need of nurses to be addressed.
These are not the only factors for the nursing shortages, however. Villanova University identified women’s job prospects in 2016 as another reason for the nursing shortage. Once considered a job for women, nursing is no open to both male and females like never before. Yet, due to women going into other industries, nursing is hurting.
The American Nurses Association is currently lobbying congress to create new incentives for students that study nursing. If Americans are looking for available employment, retraining to fill the available nursing jobs is one way to find work.