Is This The "Perfect Storm" of Nursing Shortages?


LA CROSS, WI - A health care administrator in La Cross, Wisconsin calls it the "perfect storm" of nursing shortages.

The administrator cites three factors occurring simultaneously creating a situation that could cause this to be the "perfect storm" of nursing shortages.

These three factors are: the aging of the baby boomers, more nurses retiring, and fewer educators to train new nurses. 

The American Hospital Association released a report in April, 2006, titled, "The State of America's Hospitals Now-Taking the Pulse" stating that U.S. hospitals now need approximately 118,000 registered nurses (RN's) to fill vacant positions nationwide.  This translates into a vacancy rate of 8.5%. 

In the January/February 2007 issue of "Health Affairs", Dr. David I. Auerback and colleagues released a study titled, "Better Late Than Never: Workforce Supply Implications of Late Entry into Nursing."   Auerback et al, projected that the U.S. shortfall of RNs would increase to 304,000 by 2020.  Although this is significantly less than the 800,000 shortage that was projected in 2000 by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the authors note that the nursing shortage will still be three times greater than the current shortage over the next 13 years. 

In April 2006, the HRSA released projections that the country's nursing shortage would exceed one million by 2020.  The federal officials stated that all 50 states would experience a nursing shortage by "varying degrees" by the year 2015. 

This follows a previous HRSA report in 2000 that forecast "only" an 808,400 RN shortage by 2020 and "only" 44 states feeling the shortage by 2015.

What does the health care administrator say about this "perfect storm"?

That today's RNs can expect to find more nursing vacancies, increased wages and benefits, and better job opportunities coming along.


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

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