An Overview of the Nursing Shortage

A nurse—whether working in a family clinic or large hospital—is responsible for a majority of patient care. Nurses perform some of the most important duties during a patient’s stay at the hospital, from monitoring vital signs to administering necessary medications. Nurses also provide a human face to what can sometimes be a cold, sterile environment. However, in recent years there has been a vast shortage of nurses in the healthcare industry. In fact, this shortage is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years.

Shortage of Nursing Education

Some statistics also show that the number of nursing school graduates has decreased quite significantly. Since nurses play such a large and important part in today’s medical care system, it is a worthy endeavor to investigate the causes behind these shortages. Although it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why there is such a dramatic nursing shortage, examining the trends and statistics can provide clues. Investigating these clues is key to understanding how to combat the nursing shortage. Further, as hospitals and clinics struggle to recruit nurses, some nurses are seeking other avenues of employment or ways to perform their duties.

Shortage of Nursing Incentives

Hospitals and clinics have begun to investigate other methods for attracting nurses to their environments. Exactly how these facilities are addressing the shortage can provide insight into the larger problem of the nursing shortage, and it can provide clues to the trends of the nursing shortage in the future. If the statistics show the shortage growing worse, what can be done to stop it? Or will the nursing shortage continue to grow until the trends reverse themselves? A thorough examination into the shortage itself can provide some hints.

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