A recent South Florida Sun Sentinel headline said it all: “Fewer nurses for more patients: training programs failing to meet demand.” The article went on to report that, with double the number of nursing vacancies as eight years earlier, there are concerns whether there are enough nurses to care for the growing number of Florida patients.
And, it’s not just Florida. According to the American Nurses Association’s NursingWorld.org, America’s aging population is putting a strain on the nation’s health system, which, in turn, is creating a renewed critical shortage of nurses.
Nurses Switching Careers
Making matters worse, nearly half of the nurses we now have are considering a switch in careers. A leading cause for this attitude is the need for nurses to work long hours under stressful conditions, which often leads to fatigue and a possible decrease in quality of care.
In addition to feeling overworked, a recent survey of nurses suggested nurses are thinking of leaving the profession because they are disrespected by co-workers and harassed by managers. Nearly two in 10 of respondents indicated they no longer enjoyed their job and 15 percent replied they were spending too much time on paperwork, instead of with patients.
And while a growing number of nurses are feeling overworked and underappreciated, the prognosis for relief is not getting better – especially as older nurses ponder retirement. The fact is, we are staring down a major nursing shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly a million RN vacancies likely will need to be filled through 2022, leading to an increased reliance on traveling nurses to meet healthcare needs in many cases.
The solution appears to be “more nurses.” The opportunities for new nursing graduates have never been stronger and…despite certain challenges or shortfalls…it remains a profession that can be both financially and personally rewarding.
Filling the Growing Need for Nurses
Fortis offers Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) programs at many of its campuses nationwide. Those who have the inclination and drive to enter the profession would do well to explore their options and find the Fortis program nearest them. And, for current RNs who think a change of pace would be good for them, Fortis offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through the affiliated Denver College of Nursing. A BSN not only can prepare them for nurse administrator positions but opportunities in research…and even teaching, where they could prepare new nurses to fill the growing need.