ERIC Number: ED455385
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Nursing Workforce: Emerging Nurse Shortages Due to Multiple Factors. Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives.
Current evidence suggests emerging shortages of nurses available or willing to fill some vacant positions in hospitals, nursing homes, and home care. Total employment of registered nurses (RNs) per capita and the national unemployment rate for RNs have declined, and providers from around the country report growing difficulty recruiting and retaining the number of nurses needed in a range of settings. Current problems with the recruitment and retention of nurses are related to multiple factors. The nurse work force is aging, and fewer new nurses are entering the profession to replace those who are retiring or leaving. Nurses report unhappiness with these aspects of the work environment: staffing levels, heavy workloads, increased use of overtime, lack of sufficient support staff, and adequate wages. In many cases, this growing dissatisfaction affects decisions to remain in nursing. A serious shortage of nurses is expected in the future as pressures are exerted on demand and supply. Demand is expected to increase dramatically when the baby boomers reach their 60s, 70s, and beyond. During the same period, the number of women aged 25-54, who have traditionally formed the core of the nurse work force, is expected to remain relatively unchanged. Efforts to improve the workplace environment may both reduce the likelihood of nurses leaving the field and encourage more young people to enter the nursing profession. (YLB)
Descriptors: Career Education, Demand Occupations, Employee Attitudes, Employer Employee Relationship, Employment Patterns, Employment Projections, Futures (of Society), Government Role, Higher Education, Job Satisfaction, Labor Needs, Labor Supply, Labor Turnover, Nurses, Nursing Education, Postsecondary Education, Work Environment
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, DC 20013 (first copy free; additional copies $2 each). For full text: http://www.gao.gov/archive/2001/d01944.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Note: For related reports on the Nursing Workforce, see CE 081 941 and CE 082 009.