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The Nursing Shortage - Why Today’s Shortage Is Unique

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The Nursing Shortage - Why Today’s Shortage Is Unique

The Nursing Shortage: Why Today’s Shortage is Unique


The nursing profession has experienced shortages many times in the past. This pattern was cyclical, with periods of high vacancy rates followed by layoffs and an oversupply of registered nurses. Today, we are experiencing another drought for nursing, but due to many factors, this shortage is different from anything the profession has witnessed in previous years. There are many that feel this shortage is severe and prolonged because the solution is complicated, and not simply a matter of a decrease in the number of registered nurses in the United States.

Within the content of this paper, I will be presenting a description of the current nursing shortage. An explanation of how the health care system has changed over the years and its impact on nursing will be discussed. Nursing education has also changed and the demand for more advanced education is required. It is this demand for education that has had a major impact on our current shortage of qualified registered nurses.

History of Nursing Shortages:

Hospitals are the major employers of nursing personnel, and registered nurses are the largest group of all health care givers in this country. Health care in areas outside of the inpatient hospital setting is increasing (nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, VNA), yet the largest number of nursing

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