Healthcare Essay

3541 Words15 Pages
The current and growing shortage of nurses is posing a real threat to the ability of hospitals and other facilities and others to provide time access to quality of care. Nurse staffing shortages contribute to the growing reduction in the number of staffed patient beds available for services, increasing costs, and rising concerns about the quality of care. The shortage may also hinder the hospitals and other facilities ability to respond to any unfortunate mass medical crisis due to terrorism or other devastating occurrences. Even though the United States is thought to have more nurses and physicians than ever before, upcoming retirements, the change in medical care, stricter requirements for nursing school students, and financial aid availability, and a dysfunctional workplace are creating shortages that can become more severe than the medical industry can bare (Woods, D. 2009). As such, in efforts to prevent a mass exodus from the profession, healthcare organization leaders are exploring innovative ways to keep experienced nurses (Larson, J. 2009). The ages of 41-48 seems to be the average age of registered nurses since 2006 (Bolton-Burnes, L. 2007). Even more troubling; in 2006, 45% of hospital-employed RN’s were at least 50 years old. Only 12% were 34 years old or younger (Bolton-Burnes, L. 2007). The average age of the American nurse has increased from 42-46 in just a few years. Given this fact, experts predict that more than 50% of this population will retire by 2020. Nursing does not only function in isolation, but as one division of the overall health delivery system. Thus, when nursing numbers fall short, the impact is felt across the entire range of the health care system. Because of this intricacy, there will not be an easy or single solution. Correcting the shortage will require strategies that travel multiple paths and the concerted efforts

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