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Changes in science and technology, demographics, social attitudes, economic conditions and other factors can upset the most careful forecasts and alter the career decisions of current workers and young women and men preparing to join the workforce.

 

The Nursing Shortage

In the last decade, hospitals in Massachusetts and throughout the nation experienced a severe, short-term cyclical shortage of registered nurses. Nursing workforce authorities believe that the shortage subsided because older, married nurses re-entered the workforce responding to increasing RN wages and the toll of relatively high unemployment rates on their families following the 2001 recession. They also cite improvements in the hospital workplace, and more recently, widespread private-sector initiatives aimed at boosting education capacity as well as increasing the number of people who choose nursing careers. 

For now, however, the forecast of a long-term, structural nursing shortage is unchanged. Large numbers of baby-boomer nurses will soon begin to reach retirement age (the first boomers reached age 62 in 2008), and current nursing education capacity is still insufficient to replace them.

 

It's a national concern:

Healthcare providers across the country are concerned about the projected long-term shortage of caregivers. The American Hospital Association's Long Range Policy Committee studied the workforce challenges of the next decade and offered findings and recommendations to help healthcare providers and their partners successfully build and manage tomorrow's workforce.

Their findings and recommendations are here: 

 

National League of Nursing study: Insufficient faculty remains major constraint to expansion of nursing programs

Expansion in the number of pre-licensure RN programs ground to a near halt between 2007 and 2008, with the addition of only 15 new programs, according to a new Nursing Data Review study released by the National League of Nursing (NLN). The study also reported that annual admissions to pre-licensure nursing programs fell and enrollments were flat for the first time in at least six years. Graduations did increase significantly in 2008, a lagging effect of an upsurge in admissions between 2003 and 2005. Other findings include that nearly one quarter (23.4 percent) of U.S. nursing programs of all types reported receiving more qualified applications than could be accepted in 2008. Among pre-licensure programs, there was considerably more unmet demand for admissions; more than 119,000 qualified applications-or 39 percent of all qualified applications-were turned away from pre-licensure programs in 2008. The annual NLN study of U.S. nursing schools includes key statistics on admissions, enrollments, graduations, student demographics and numbers of faculty

How MHA, ONL- MA & RI and Their Partners Are Promoting a Strong Healthcare Workforce

MHA and ONL- MA & RI, in cooperation with many partners and collaborators, are leading the way to address the future

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