Nursing

News spotlight: Study predicts recession will temporarily fill the nursing shortage

Nurse Leader Insider, June 22, 2009

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The declining economy has led to surging nurse employment rates that could soon end the nation's 11-year shortage, according to a study recently released in Health Affairs journal.

The study examines the recession's effect on the nursing profession and reports almost 250,000 nurses entered the workforce between 2007 and 2008. This is the most significant two-year increase in RN employment in the last 30 years.

The study finds nurses over the age of 50 make up more than half of the increase—many of whom delayed retirement or rejoined hospital settings to compensate for spouses losing jobs or out of fear that they might.

Researchers analyzed data such as nationally representative surveys of more than 100,000 people that are administered monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau. They predict the unprecedented surge in employment is likely to temporarily ease or end the nursing shortage in many parts of the country. However, they project a shortage will return in 2018 and develop into a loss of 260,000 RNs by 2025.

Source: The Wall Street Journal



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