The Reality of the Nursing Shortage

To say it bluntly, there is a massive shortage of jobs. Nurses in particular, the unsung heroes of healthcare facilities everywhere, are becoming increasingly scarce with rumors of even more shortages to come. Without them, hospitals are simply unable to provide even the most basic care which often results in early discharge and the refusal of new patients. The problem with the shortage is not always that the jobs are not available, but that most healthcare facilities require an adequate education and are in dire need of skilled and specialized nurses. A proper nursing education is what separates those who are hired from those who are not; it is the irrefutably essential key to reducing the impact of the shortage at hand. The following articles are just glimpses of the effect of nursing shortages:
  1. This article highlights the fact that the nursing shortage is thriving. Several hospitals, like the one mentioned here, are even offering incentive packages to hirable nursing candidates.  http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=712312
  2. It is often overlooked that there is not only a shortage of nurses in hospitals and nursing homes, but in schools as well. This article outlines the importance of a school nurse and the effects the shortage has on the schools, students, staff and parents in New Haven, Connecticut.  http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/school_nurses/id_51904
  3. This article states that a shortage of nursing instructors is a key factor in the nursing shortage. Those who seek higher education in the medical field have the opportunity to help fill the roles as educators.  http://newscenter.iupui.edu/5806/IU-School-of-Nursing-awarded-Robert-Wood-Johnson-Foundation-grant-to-study-doctoral-education
  4. The importance of nurses working in specialized areas is a global issue. Many do not realize the shortage in the US is affecting other countries as well. This article highlights those issues within Qatar. http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/latest-news/211185-shortage-of-nurses-hits-healthcare.html
  5. Supply and demand for nurses is not a balanced equation at the moment, according to this article. More and more colleges have to turn potential students away or put them on a waiting list because they lack the educators with higher nursing education to instruct them. On top of that, older nurses kept their jobs during the economic downturn. Now that the economy is slowly stabilizing, the elderly nurses are retiring. This is creating even more of a shortage than before. http://www.andalusiastarnews.com/2012/10/09/nursing-demand-higher-than-supply/
  6. The shortage of doctors is calling for more nurse practitioners, as well as nurses. Nurse practitioners have the degree and ability to do most of the work regularly done by a doctor. This article focuses on the benefits nurse practitioners can have on these shortages.  http://savannahnow.com/column/2012-10-14/burns-answer-georgias-doctor-shortage#.UIi-tcVTySo


The nursing shortage is an issue of importance that too many people are overlooking. If it goes further, our healthcare system will continue to feel the effects of the nursing shortage even more than it already has. This nursing shortage has a simple solution, more nurses with a quality education and a degree in nursing are needed in the United States, as well as around the world.