Nursing Careers are Still Highly in Demand in 2012

Written by on August 30, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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Nursing CareersThere seems to be no shortage of jobs for nursing professionals, just a shortage of the nurses themselves.  The shortage of healthcare workers has been documented throughout history.  But, the current nursing shortage is worldwide.  And it is very serious.  There are a few factors that contribute to this shortage.  The current nursing workforce is aging; there is a decline in enrollment in nursing programs, a boom in population growth, and the baby boomers approaching retirement age, requiring more healthcare services.

In the year 2012 alone there will be a need for over one million new and replacement nurses.  Today, that average age of a graduating nurse is 31.  This means that she will have a shorter distance to retirement, and less year in the workforce.  This current shortage has had a huge impact on the healthcare industry.  With medical facilities short staffed, nurses are experiencing a great deal of unhappiness in the work place.  This lends itself to the nurse feeling burnt out and leaving before retirement age.  This doesn’t help with the shortage either.

Medical facilities are trying to cope with the shortage the best they can by hiring unlicensed assistant personnel to help with patient care.  This does help to some extent.  An unlicensed assistant can weigh you and take your vital signs.  Doctors have to find alternate ways of doing business.  Clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are turning to unlicensed personnel to provide more and more care.  This also helps reduce the cost of doing business.  This does work under some circumstances.  One thing that must be understood here is that not everyone can be a nurse and therefore unlicensed personnel should not be expected to do the job of a nurse.

As jobs for nursing continue to be on the rise, nurses are banding together to help stop the nursing shortage.  With the help of their legislators, there have been several laws passed in many states that reduce the patient to nurse ratio.  This isn’t all good though.  It causes some facilities to close beds because they don’t have enough staff to care for patients.  But, it does reduce the risk of mistakes and harm to patients due to understaffing and overworking the nurses.

Communities have stepped up to the plate as well.  They have begun funding grants for nurse educators and nurses alike to help further their educations.  They have also provided some funding to help open and maintain more schools for nursing education.  Healthcare facilities are starting to listen to their nurses more and more when it comes to suggestions on how to keep the staff that they have.

If everyone works together we can solve this crisis.  Because that is what it will become if we lose all our nurses; a crisis.

This is a guest post.   Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @CedesPotter to read other health related blog posts.

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