National Nurse Week honors nurses, highlights staff shortage

  • Survey: A third of nurses say they’ll leave the profession due to stress
  • US’s nursing shortfall is projected to increase to over 2 million by 2025
  • An aging work force, burnout and a lack of educators are among factors

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — National Nurses Week is a time to recognize and thank nurses for their commitment to care for others, but health care workers are highlighting a growing concern that the U.S. is heading into a nursing crisis

According to an AMN Healthcare survey, nearly a third of registered nurses surveyed said they’ll likely leave the profession for another job — the number one reason: stress.

“You’re working hard and doing the best for people. A lot of times they’re feeling their worst. No one chooses to go to the hospital and want to be there, so they’re not in the mindset of, “Hey, let me show my gratitude for the nurse that is taking care of me,'” said Christine Callander, a family nurse practitioner.

The U.S. is projected to be more than one million nurses short, and by 2025, that shortfall will reach more than two million nurses, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. California, New Jersey, Alaska, and Texas are facing the biggest shortages, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said.

This comes as nurses are aging out of the profession and retiring.

Currently, one million nurses are older than 50 and could be at retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The data includes nurse faculty, and that presents its own unique problem, training more nurses with fewer resources.

Nurses are also leaving the job due to burnout from long shifts and high workloads. The aging U.S. population is requiring an increase in nurses.

Also, most nurses are women and many are leaving the job due to family concerns.

There are also not enough educators to teach incoming nurses. Thousands of qualifying nursing applications are often turned away due to faculty shortages.

“When you look at the cost that goes into achieving those different levels of education and then getting the levels to be able to teach, that can financially be a hindrance for some people teaching nursing or teaching kindergarten class, none of those are the greatest paying jobs in the United States,” Callander said.

Travel nursing has been around since the 1980s but has grown significantly in the last couple of years as a way to make more money, but it is leaving local areas desperate for nurses who stay.

National Nurses Week ends May 12, 2023.


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