Trends in the Nursing Shortage

There are two contrasting trends in the nursing shortage that are worth taking into consideration, whether you are a would-be nurse or an administrator attempting to alleviate the nursing shortage. These contrasting trends may hold the key to the future of the nursing shortage and what nurses and hospital administrators alike can expect in the coming years.

The nursing shortage, unfortunately, only appears to be growing. Veteran nurses are retiring, and other nurses currently in the field are likely to retire or switch jobs due to burn out from being stretched too thin. Nursing schools and programs lack money and space to teach new applicants. Not enough graduates are entering the field to keep up with the rate of nurse retirement. The future, in fact, seems dim for hospitals and clinics already lacking nurses. However, like any profession, nursing is experiencing a dip in prosperity and inevitably will begin to rise again. Ensuring a healthy outlook for the profession, though, will take work and dedication from both hospitals and administrators alike, as all will have to cooperate on influencing factors like the budget.

Some Trends Unlikely to Reverse Themselves

The positive aspect of the nursing shortage is that the job outlook itself for nurses is very bright. Although they may be faced with long hours, nurses who are accepted and graduate from a nursing school or program are almost guaranteed a position in a hospital, clinic, or other outlet. The same cannot be said for other avenues of employment. In today’s fluctuating economy, having the security of a job waiting can mean a world of difference to a program graduate. Up and coming nurses can enjoy the security of knowing there are several positions available for them and that they are in high demand as registered nurses.

While the shortage will continue to increase until addressed by all participating parties –nurses, hospitals, clinics, and the government—the future of the nursing graduate is looking bright. If more schools and programs could admit applicants, eventually the nursing graduates could begin to fill job vacancies across the board. Nursing graduates are in high demand and will continue to be so for years to come.

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