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The Nursing Shortage

The nursing shortage is hitting hard and it’s hitting fast.  According to Reuters, hospitals are offering various incentives, including sign-on bonuses, to recruit new nurses.  They also are offering low cost housing and career mentoring.

Next, hospitals are investing more in travel nurses.  A hospital in Charleston, West Virginia, doubled the amount they spend on travel nurses to $12,000,000 compared to 3 years ago, making a huge financial impact on their already struggling budget.  [Click for article]

The article went on to note how rural hospitals are being forced to pay higher wages and provide more benefits to stay competitive with metropolitan hospitals.

This shortage will grow an additional 16% by 2024, more than double the rate when applied to the rate for all occupations.  This, of course, will mean that there will be more and more demand for nurses.

Lastly, the aging “baby boomer” population with the increased need for more medical services including those suffering from more complex medical conditions is being coupled with the fact that more nurses are retiring; all contributing to the nursing shortage.

If you are having trouble finding a nursing position or if your license happens to be on probation … hang in there.  If you want to relocate to a more rural area, you might receive higher pay and more benefits.

Now is the time we need some kind of control, such as mandatory minimum staffing requirements.  I also would like to see a separate charge for nursing services so that the field can step into the powerful position of being a revenue producing center.  We need to take advantage of this shortage, right now, so that we can come to have some control over our profession and of what is asked of us!

The medical profession needs you now more than ever.




About Lorie A Brown, R.N., M.N., J.D.


  1. Lpn’s need to be recognized as well.
    We are nurses also and to continue to discuss a shortages and only address one title of nurse in my opinion (and my opinion only) not only seems like it would make the numbers incorrect when talking about the ‘number of nurses’ working etc and the shortage, but also unfair and insulting.
    Hospitals could allow us back in the hospital and offer Lpn’s the incentives to go back to school for higher education, etc.

  2. Alot of people do not consider nursing anymore. I have pretty much turned my back on nursing
    I have seen just once to often nurses berate, belittle, be rude and just plain mean and bitchy to each other. I have seen new nurses (new to the company), ignored, given ALL the scut jobs, and left pretty much to figure out position policy on their own. For what nurses get paid why allow yourself to be treated like that?

  3. The profession is becoming more and more challenging for all nurses. Many people have tons of professions to choose from than women (and men) had 40 years ago when I became a nurse. Nurses– believe it or not, when I went into nursing, one could apply for a job in the morning only to be asked can you come to work tonight? or tomorrow? Not sure if employers need to be that quick to hire but today it sometimes take on average 2 months to get cleared to work with all the checks and balances that hospitals do now a days. Some of this is not necessary and should not take as long to employ people.
    To Valerie, you may have to take a night shift if you are hungry for a position. If you want to work, sometimes you have to take a position to get to another job offer. You will know that you are not there to stay but do a great job while you are there so that you can move to that ideal position with a good reference.
    By the way, I teach nurses to transition from the bedside by educating them to use their skills and background to transform their career. I train many nurses who are thinking of leaving the profession because of burnout. We need all of you to remain in nursing and you should know that there are tons of alternative positions besides working at the beside that is very rewarding. I have been involved with Quality, Compliance, Legal Nurse Consulting, and Risk Management for over 30 years combined. And I have loved every position that I have transitioned to. I have never been without a job for more than a month or two during my entire nursing career.
    Stay in nursing!!!. Prepare to constantly be educating yourself for that next rewarding move. We need you to stay and you deserve to be a happy nurse. Cheers!

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