The US Needs Nurses

Jan. 21, 2019 – Today one of the greatest dangers that the worldwide public health is facing is a global shortage of nurse including the third world countries and major world powers such as the US.  The profession of nursing is the number one defenses against widespread epidemics and nurse are the people that directly treat patients on a daily basis.  They are therefore the most important element of any health care system in the world.  Nations that lack enough nurses have been monitored throughout the world by the WHO organization and programs that recruit and educate nurse that can work towards improving the quality of life through basic care have been sponsored.  Shortage of nurses is often a part of cultural and social struggle in the world related to poverty, repressive regimes, political instability, racism and religious intolerance.  As our world is converted into a small global village by the science, technology, world travel and social media, a conscious awareness of the daily reality in unstable nations is crucial for a worldwide understanding at the professional and human levels.

In the United States, it is a tendency for people to view nursing education as an opportunity for personal betterment, financially and professionally.  Nursing education however is more than just personal way of getting paid.  This profession is part of meeting the global needs for quality health and prolonged lifetime.  The most crucial areas in nursing that are needed in the rest of the world including the US are pediatric nurses, public health nurses, nurse midwives and rural health nurses.  Even with almost 100 nurses per 10,000 people in the US, there are reports of a shortage of nurses.  On the contrary, more people are seen to major in the nursing profession and therefore competition for jobs in this profession has become so stiff.  The question to ask is how there can be so many people applying for nursing jobs while at the same time there is a shortage of nurses in the country.

The only possible answer is that the nursing workforce is aging and new and young nurses are not graduating fast enough to meet the market demands.  It also seems that many nurses might be competing for the same nursing positions when other jobs such as jobs in critical specialties and rural areas are being ignored.  In the United States and all over the world, nurses make up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce with 3 million nurses in US.  It is among the fastest growing occupations in the country and yet demand for nurses still outpaces supply.

Why Nurse Shortage Remains an Issue in the US

The first reason is that hospitals are full of patents.  As a result of the affordable care act that was passed in 2010, almost everyone can now access health insurance in the US.  This in turn has led to the increase of people looking for medical care.  Some hospitals have been forced to expand the number of beds just to meet the patient demands and avoid overcrowding.  Second is that medical technology has advanced so much that people now can live more years than before.  This is among the major contributors to hospitals having too many patients.  People aged 65 and above in the US keep increasing to the level that now; this age group of Americans has so many people than it has been recorded at any other time in the history of the United States.  This number is predicted to grow even bigger and more people will continue having health issues therefore leading to an increased number of patents in the nursing homes.  Thirdly is an increase in outpatient services like urgent care centers.  This means more nursing jobs are now available outside of the inpatient setting.  The problem is that most people seek inpatient services, where nurses are a few.  Old nurses are retiring and even thou there are thousands of nursing graduates the high demand for jobs has caused retirees to outpace new nurses.  Lastly is that nursing schools have filed to keep up with the number of applying nursing students.  Approximately 80,000 applications were turned down by the nursing schools in the United States in 2012 for the reason of there not being enough room and budget to support a large number of students.  This is according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing report.  Nurses are also limited from moving forward with their career fat enough to meet the patient demands by the requirement of ongoing training.  With the declining number of nursing schools and limited resources to ensure sufficient nursing students are trained and graduate to solve the shortage in the country, initiatives have to be taken and quickly to make sure that quality health for each person is restored as best as possible to maintain a healthy world.