Some Regions Have Higher Demand For Nurses Than Others
The fastest growth potential are in the West and Mountain regions of the U.S. Some experts anticipate slower growth in the Northeast and Midwest regions. This aligns with the U.S. Health and Human Services’ list of states with the largest nursing shortage gap. As the population ages, there will also be growth potential in areas with high retirement populations. This includes Florida, California, and Texas.
Despite regional differences,the BLS estimates the overall growth rate for nurse practitioners to be an outstanding 52% from 2020-2030. This is much faster than the average job growth rate. While there continues to be a shortage of bedside nurses, the BLS estimates the growth rate for RNs to be 9% during the same decade, just above average. This may be a result of challenges faced in nursing education.
Changes Need To Be Made To Ensure On
The stories of front-line nurses caring for COVID-19 patients have inspired many to apply to nursing programs and join a career that focuses on the care and protection of others. To close this shortage gap, the ICN has made several suggestions:
- Protect the safety and well-being of the current and future nursing staff
- Provide psychosocial support to bedside nursing staff
- Commit time and finances to long-term strategies that increase the number of nurses in the workplace
- Invest in the recruitment, retention, education, and training of nurses
- Improve wages and working conditions so local nurses do not leave for high-income countries
Projected Rn Shortages By State
California tops the list with an estimated 44,500 deficit in registered nurses, nearly three times the deficit in the next shortest state. Texas, New Jersey and South Carolina will lack more than 10,000 RNs Alaska, Georgia and South Dakota will each be short several thousand.
On the flip side, Florida will have far too many RNs, with a projected overage of 53,700 nurses. Ohio comes close with 49,100 more registered nurses than it will need. Virginia, New York, Missouri and North Carolina are estimated to have more than 15,000 extra RNs.
California and Florida are huge states with already high numbers of registered nurse positions. How does the shortage look when we take the size of the workforce into account? We ranked states based on the percentage of the registered nurse workforce that is projected to be vacant or overfilled.
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What Is The Current Status Of The Nursing Shortage
According to the American Nurses Association , more jobs will be available in nursing in 2022 than in any other profession. This shortage will have a significant impact on patient care. The BLS projects a 9% job growth rate for registered nurses from 2020-2030, slightly higher than average.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates at least seven U.S. states have the most severe nursing shortages. These include:
Even before 2020, there were statewide initiatives to address the shortage of bedside nurses and nurse educators.
What Should You Do Next
New opportunities and avenues to enter the field of nursing are emerging. Since the situation is constantly evolving, your best bet is to continuously check your local news and the web pages of nursing schools to discover any changes in legislation, jobs, and increased program capacity.
Additionally, many nursing programs are introducing accelerated nursing programs across the country. Universities in Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Florida, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and California have all announced plans to introduce fast-track nursing programs.
If you have recently graduated and are looking for work, be aware of your value. Due to the ongoing shortage of nurses, you have significant leverage when negotiating salary. So, you don’t have to settle for the first offer.
You may also consider applying to travel nursing agencies. These organizations will help place you at healthcare centers in need of staff. While working as a travel nurse is less predictable regarding the longevity of contracts, it is a good way to gain experience and maximize your income.
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Global Impacts Of Covid
COVID-19 has not only highlighted disparities in healthcare but further contributed to the nursing shortage. In 2020, healthcare professionals used technology to provide care for people at home such as telehealth nursing. While this helped expand the reach of healthcare, it cannot replace the care of a bedside nurse.
Some countries have encouraged retired nurses to return as a volunteer nurse or reinstate their licence to help relieve the nursing shortage. Some have even mandated inactive nurses back to the bedside.
An ICN survey found that nearly 90% of national nurses’ associations were concerned that heavy workloads, burnout, and stress were factors for the growing nursing shortages. Nurses were either retiring or moving into the private sector where stress was lower.
Infection rates and deaths are also contributing factors to the nursing shortage. Because of their close contact with patients severely ill with COVID-19, millions of nurses have also been infected. Nearly 3,000 deaths have been recorded in 60 countries. In the U.S., after 12 months, there were 3,561 deaths of healthcare workers 32%, or 1,136, were nurses.
The ICN estimates that as a result of all contributing factors up to 13 million nurses are needed to fill the gap.
The Nursing Shortage Is Threatening Our Care
Its gone from the human touch to get it done and get it billed, one nurse said.
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A shortage of nurses elevated the misery of a woman in my support group during a recent health crisis, she informed us. Because I participate in a clinical trial, in which I am vigilantly monitored in both Bloomington and Indianapolis hospitals, I was surprised. But I quickly began to realize that her ordeal could not possibly be unusual and then to fear that our current health care system is becoming more unfriendly, inhospitable to patients and to nurses as well.
My friend Dana arrived at Bloomington Hospitals emergency department with a problem that many people confront after below-the-belt surgery or radiation: a bowel blockage. Dana ended up spending the entire night in the emergency department. When she asked why, she was told that administrators at the short-staffed hospital had closed an entire floor.
By calling our health care system unfriendly, then, I mean to underscore not hostile or antagonistic but tardy, hurried or distant responses from clinicians careless care generally related less to their personal failures and more to the constraints within which they operate.
Susan Gubar, who has been dealing with ovarian cancer since 2008, is distinguished emerita professor of English at Indiana University. Her latest book is Late-Life Love.
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The Nursing Shortage Crisis In America: How Covid
Jasmin Parrado, Staff WriterFebruary 5, 2022
As the past two years have brought about some of the worst hardships and obstacles to overcome in wake of COVID-19, hospitals, offices, and nursing homes have known a great deal of loss with patientsand they have also lost countless nurses in the process as well.
The American Nurses Association has predicted that 2022 will entail the most employment availability for registered nursingand at that, substantially more availability than for any other job position in America. Consider this: availability tends to follow absence. To fill the prevalent void amidst the chronic lack of active nursing positions, millions upon millions of nurses will be needed.
Ive taken a step back to analyze this issue of sorts that has always seemed quite unfamiliar and unexplored when it comes to how the healthcare industry chooses to play its cards with distributing staff assignments for medical workers. Various opinions and studies Ive collected on this issue have wavered, yet they have all unanimously introduced to me the idea that medical staff shortage is one of the most prominent and severe outcomes of the decade.
When researching further, this factor consistently showed up under various media platforms. The New York Times recently released an opinion video produced by Lucy King that caught my eye with the bold title making a statement I was seeking to learn more about: Hospital Greed is Destroying Our Nurses. Heres Why.
What The Shortage Means For Future Nurses
It might appear as if the shortage opens the field for nursing graduates to find a job right after school. However, there is good and bad news. Job opportunities will differ depending on the geographical area.
Many states with significant shortages have rural areas where it may be difficult to attract experienced, skilled nurses. Job opportunities may also depend on experience and skill level.
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The Shortage Impacts Nurse Working Conditions
Nursing shortages have a high impact on working environments, patient outcomes, and the long-term health of nurses, leading to longer shifts and higher nurse-to-patient ratios. This shortage increases stress, fatigue, and the risk of injury to nurses. It can also reduce patient care.
Another effect of understaffing is nurses quitting because of heavy workloads and the stress of caring for dying patients. According to one estimate in 2018, the cost of turnover per nurse was $44,000.
The shortage of nurses also depends on the nursing specialty. Higher shortages are measured in labor and delivery, critical care nursing, geriatric nursing, and nurse educators.
Before the pandemic, the nursing shortage’s most significant factors were aging, burnout, wage disparities, and regional needs.
The Pandemic Deepens A Pay Gap
A nurse caring for a medically fragile child at home has the same responsibilities he or she would in a hospital but no medical backup in case of emergency. Its a high-wire act, and experts say that prevailing wages dont reflect its difficulty.
Federal guidelines permit state Medicaid programs to cover in-home care for eligible children regardless of their families income, since the price of round-the-clock nursing would bankrupt almost anyone. But states generally pay home care nurses at much lower rates than they would for equivalent care in a hospital or other medical center.
They effectively establish a benchmark of workers compensation that competitively disadvantages this field, said Roger Noyes, a spokesman for the Home Care Association of New York State. In turn, state-certified home health agencies that provide families with nurses pay meager salaries and seldom offer health insurance or other benefits to the nurses they employ.
So, although home care is more appropriate for medically fragile children, hospitals receive about half of Medicaid spending on these cases compared with 2 percent for home care, studies show.
And Covid-19 generated competing demands for nursing that further diminished the home care work force. Surging with the pandemic, the states largest health care provider, Northwell Health, hired 40 percent more nurses in 2020 than the year prior and contracted with 1,000 additional temporary nurses once the local hiring pool was exhausted.
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Read More On The Coronavirus Pandemic
- Heavy Toll: The average life expectancy of Americans fell precipitously in 2020 and 2021. The decline, largely driven by the pandemic, was particularly pronounced among Indigenous communities.
- Boosters: An influential panel of expert advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended updated coronavirus booster shots to the vast majority of Americans, clearing the way for health workers to begin giving people the redesigned shots within days.
- Paxlovid Study: The Covid-19 medication Paxlovid reduced hospitalizations and deaths in older patients, but made no difference for patients under 65, new research from Israel found.
The staffing shortages have a hospital-wide domino effect. When hospitals lack nurses to treat those who need less intensive care, emergency rooms and I.C.U.s are unable to move out patients, creating a traffic jam that limits their ability to admit new ones. One in five I.C.U.s are at least 95 percent capacity, according to an analysis by The New York Times, a level experts say makes it difficult to maintain standards of care for the very sick.
When hospitals are understaffed, people die, said Patricia Pittman, director of the Health Workforce Research Center at George Washington University.
I dont know how much more we can take, she said. But one thing that hit me hard today is a realization: If things keep going the way they are, were going to lose people for sure, and as a nurse, thats almost too much to bear.
What Does The Nursing Shortage Mean For Healthcare
Several key factors affect staffing needs. These include the level of patient illness, patient number, and staff skills and expertise . Patient outcomes are affected by staffing shortages. High nurse-to-patient ratios can lead to medication errors and higher morbidity and mortality rates.
Data also show that a patient’s risk of infection increased by 15% when the unit was understaffed. Higher nurse-to-patient ratios can also increase readmission rates in the pediatric population.
Staffing shortages, paired with a global pandemic, can increase nurse burnout and patient dissatisfaction. A staffing shortage also impacts the hospital’s level of reimbursement. Though the pandemic created a massive need for more nurses, it also reduced funding for hospitals, resulting in staff layoffs.
At the pandemic’s start, hospitals canceled elective surgeries to prioritize COVID-19 patients. Many non-COVID patients avoided hospitals. This led to decreased hospital funding and administrations furloughing nursing staff, further contributing to staffing shortages.
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Increased Ease Of Entry Into Nursing Programs
Getting accepted to a nursing program can be extremely competitive. Each year, thousands of qualified applicants are rejected. Some of the most competitive schools have acceptance rates as low as 2.5%.
In light of the ongoing shortage of nurses, many wonder why nursing schools are rejecting potential students. It’s not just because schools have high standards it’s also because of limited capacity. Many universities say they don’t have the budget to hire more nursing instructors.
States that have funneled COVID-19 relief funds into their universities’ nursing programs should have more room for incoming students in upcoming enrollment periods, meaning entrance into nursing schools will become less competitive.
Nurses Offer Solutions To Reckon With Long
Itâs a problem throughout the country and itâs no different in New York City: there aren’t enough nurses.
It’s a problem that started long before COVID-19, though. The New York Times reported on shortages in the 1980s and a state report from 2001 called it an “emerging public protection issue.”
Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez is a nurse at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and the president of the New York State Nurses Association, New York’s largest nursing union. She has spent 40 years in emergency rooms in New York City.
What You Need To Know
- Nursing shortages have plagued New York for decades
- It worsened because of the pandemic, compounding the problem
- Nurses and nursing students believe some of the solutions lie in making it easier for people to go to nursing school
- The governor included several items in her budget specifically targeting bringing more nurses to New York
She said with each passing year, there are fewer and fewer nurses, making it challenging to provide the care patients need.
âIf nursing is giving love and care, and you canât give love and care, thereâs no joy,â she said.
Sheridan-Gonzalez said when she started, she cared for up to six patients at a time. Now, sometimes itâs 20.
âItâs impossible to cover people during their breaks. You do the best you can,â she said.
She said itâs a vicious cycle: understaffing causes burnout, both compounded by the pandemic, creating more of a shortage.
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There Are Global Initiatives To Increase The Nursing Workforce
The ICN has encouraged national nurses’ associations and governments to address the nursing shortage. According to their estimates, 74% of associations have reported that their countries are committed to addressing the problem, and 54% are addressing the need to retain working nurses.
Nursing associations have recorded a 20% increase in the number of nurses who left the profession in 2020. This raises concerns about the emotional and physical trauma experienced by nurses during the pandemic and increases the expected nursing shortage gap.
Additionally, there will continue to be a 3-4 year gap in the nursing shortage before new graduates are ready to enter the field. During this period, national nursing associations worry that the added workload and stress will increase the number of experienced nurses who leave.
Projected States With Most New Rn Positions
California is expected to add 110,500 new registered nurse positions by 2030, followed by Texas, adding 88,800. Neither amount is expected to be enough to counter the shortage both states will face.
Florida, on the other hand, is expected to add too many positions, creating 69,400 new registered nurse jobs, resulting in an overage of more than 50,000 nurses.
How do the number of new positions compare to the existing registered nurse pool in each state? We looked at the states with the biggest and smallest percentage growth in jobs for registered nurses by 2030.
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Hostile Working Conditions Fueled By Covid
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses faced spikes in workplace physical violence and verbal abuse as patients’ families felt helpless with sick loved ones in the hospital.
One study researched nurses’ experiences with workplace violence. The researchers used an online survey of RNs working in hospitals to calculate the frequency of physical violence and verbal abuse from February to June 2020. The purpose was to help describe the type of violence that nurses may be experiencing during the pandemic.
They found 44.4% nurses reported physical violence and 67.8% reported verbal abuse. The rate of violence was higher in nurses caring for COVID-19 patients than in nurses who did not care for COVID-19 patients. The researchers recommend that hospital administrators recognize nurses’ increased risk of workplace violence and the urgent need to carry out preventive strategies.
Another data sampling of nurses working in Iran found similar results. Researchers measured “incivility” in nurses working in seven training hospitals. Some nurses reported that patients’ families were uncooperative because of their lack of knowledge of healthcare practices. Once educated, their behavior seemed to change.
The interviews also revealed that emotional and physical abuse has increased during the pandemic, elevating an already stressful environment.