One of the most critical issues confronting the Health Care industry today is the nursing shortage. This is not a short term issue, nor is it one that will escape having a profound effect on the way that people in the industrialized nations have become accustomed to being cared for when they require hospital care.An overwhelming number of nurses will be retiring in the next two decades and most of them will not be replaced.While the career of nursing is an increasingly stressful field requiring a high ability in technology, the rewards of the profession are dwindling.There are simply too many other options today for women, who often chose the nursing profession as one of very few options.The pay is mediocre, working weekends, holidays and night shifts is often mandatory and the pensions are laughable.The biggest kick in the face is that after caring for people my entire life, I will have no Health Care Coverage if I decide to retire early, after which Medicare will have to suffice.
Besides the other options available to women today, another reason for the impending shortage is the lack of available space in nursing education. Many schools have closed due to lack of available faculty. I have taught in many venues in the Health Care fields, but Nursing Faculty members in many universities must be Doctoral prepared and if I were to pursue the rigorous training needed to achieve a Doctorate in Nursing so that I could teach in a Nursing program, I would be rewarded with a cut in pay from my current postion as a hospital staff nurse.
The nursing shortage is not just in the US. Many hospitals are recruiting overseas to fill the gaps, but fewer foreign nurses are being trained and other countries are scooping them up.
It has been proven in the literature that patients who are cared for by an RN fare better and suffer fewer complications.In fact, your nursing care has a lot more to do with your well being than the doctor you choose.If something is not done soon to prepare for tommorrow and increase the number of nurses trained, then the idea of having to go into the hospital may soon be an even more frightening prospect than it is today.