223,000 Nurses Needed Annually

According to U.S. Labor Department statistics, the problem of nursing shortages is expected to increase over the coming 7 years.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that a need for 223,000 new nurses each year will continue through 2016.  The need for RNs will be in addition to the 2.5 million nurses already in place.

When the numbers are examined in depth the needs become more alarming.  Currently only about 200,000 new nurses are entering the job market each year, not enough to meet the demand.  When you add in the thousands of nurses who are retiring or leaving the career and the numbers become more dire.

Nursing Shortage Cycles Every 10 Years

An interesting point was raised in the article on the Labor Department report.  The shortage of nurses cycles on and off every 10 years or so.  When the shortage becomes critical, the government steps in with additional funding to increase retention and recruiting efforts.  Will the Federal Government be able to do so in the current economic crisis?

State and Federal funding will be a critical factor in the way the nursing shortage shakes out over the coming years and with the economy in the tank for the 18 to 36 months, what will we have to look forward to if they can’t support the increased education and health expenses needed to bring new nurses in and retain the nurses we have?

I welcome your opinion.  Comment using the link below and share your thoughts on nurse retention and education in the current economy.

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