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What is the impact to the nursing profession and to the public related to the projected nursing shortage? Discuss at least one way that the nursing profession is working toward a resolution of this problem.

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Joy Okoto 1 posts

Re: Topic 1 DQ 1

It is something that has been well anticipated and planned for over the last several years, and despite plans to decrease or slow it down has been unsuccessful, of course we are talking about a nursing shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered nurses is listed among the top occupations regarding job growth through 2024, where it is anticipated that the RN workforce will grow from 2.7 million in 2014 to 3.2 million in 2024 (AACN, 2017). That is a 16% increase over a 10-year period, not including the need to replace closes to 650,000 current nurses which are expected to retire, that results in a total of 1.09 million replacements by 2024.

The factors that contribute to this shortage results from several factors, this includes an explosion in nursing school enrollment that universities are unable to keep up with resulting in restricted program access. As well as a significant portion of the nursing population is nearing retirement age, as of 2013 55% of the RN population was aged 50 or older, coupled with an increase in the aging population, thanks to the baby boomers that require additional services. The final major contributing factor is the toll that the insufficient staffing is having on the current RN’s which is resulting in a staggering number of nurses burning out and/or leaving the profession all together.

The shortages are not only having a direct impact on the nursing staff but the patients they serve which is resulting in an increase in medical errors, as well as rushed patient care that is not up to nursing standards. However, there is hope! Some strategies to address the nursing shortage have inundated the system with initiatives such as loan forgiveness for nurses, strategic partnerships between nursing schools and the VA Healthcare system and the expansion of a national centralized application service for RN programs (ANCC, 2017). With nursing education at an all-time demand, and an increase in availability for nursing educators and university expansion there is hope that if the current nursing population just holds on a little longer that there is back up on the way! All we must do and grin and bear it for a little while longer and we can turn this whole thing right around.

References:

AACN. (2017). AACN: Nursing Shortage Fact sheet. Retrieved from https://www.advantagern.com/hospitals/aacn-nursing…

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