Current Nursing Shortages

The medical industry is experiencing an extreme shortage in workers in nearly every area. While registered nurses are the largest group of health care providers in the United States, it has been reported that even with the 2.6 million nurses available, the number of new graduates and foreign trained registered nurses is insufficient to meet the demand. This nursing shortage is extreme and expected to only get worse with time.
Data supports the idea that the shortage of registered nurses is due to the workers leaving the field of their own volition. Approximately 1.8 million nurses out of the 2.6 million registered chose not work in 2004. However, there are more in depth reasons regarding the reasons for their departure.
One of the most commonly cited causes for the lack of registered nurses is due to the lack of qualified doctoral or master programs faculty for the necessary programs. Students simply cannot further their medical education if there is not a staff to teach them. This may be partly due the salary of the professors; those in teaching positions in the RN programs do not receive the equivalent pay to their peers in other teaching fields.
The next most prevalent reason for the nursing shortage concerns the length registered nurses tend to remain in the field. If a student finds their way into a nursing program, after their education, it is likely that they will not remain a registered nurse for the remainder of their working life if they work in a traditional hospital health care facility. The main reason for their absence after working for a short period of time is blamed on the poor working conditions, such as long and irregular working hours and an absence of other health care aides to relieve some of their burden.
Other more minuscule factors also play a role in the nursing shortage. The physical labor demanded of medical professions deter many potential registered nurses, and the social and gender bias of nursing as a woman’s position wards off many men who may be considering the occupation.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is deeply troubled about the labor shortage in the medical field, specifically with the shortage of registered nurses. They are attempting to enact legislation to relieve the tension of such a stressful career, identify strategies to alleviate the causes of the shortage from every angle, and form cooperative efforts with other organizations to revitalize the nursing industry.
One major advantage to the shortage of registered nurses is that those who are potentially interested can receive large amounts of grants and scholarships from the cooperative organizations to further their education and hopefully put an end to a shortage in such a necessary industry.

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