Experts predict a severe nursing shortage

The enactment of healthcare reform is impacting the medical professions drastically. According to an article recently published by PBS News Hour, doctors and nurses will be faced with an increase of more than 30 million patients by 2014, when the new laws go into effect. The field of nursing, which has long experienced a shortage, is expected to be the most understaffed.

The Washington Times reports that while the recent recession helped to ease the shortage of nursing professionals in the U.S. over the past few years, this respite is temporary. As the baby boomer generation ages and becomes in greater need of care, a large percentage of nurses will leave the field to take retirement, resulting in a severe deficiency.

“What we’re seeing right now is an aging of the workforce,” Karen Haller, the vice president of nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital, told the news source. “Many nurses in their 50s are going to be retiring soon…There is a silver tsunami of retirements coming. You can’t delay retirement forever.”

Experts have commented on the ability of labor shortages to self-correct as salaries in the deficient field rise in response to the demand for workers. As such, this may be a great time to enroll in a masters of nursing program.

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