June 2002 Bulletin
How bad is it?
- Today, nurses represent 75 percent of all hospital personnel vacancies; vacancies are expected to increase to 400,000 by 2020. (American Hospital Association, TrendWatch, June, 2001)
- More than one-third of all colleges of nursing can not accept all qualified applicants because they dont have enough faculty to teach them due to staff cutbacks in the early 1990s and the aging of current faculty. (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2000-2001 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing)
- Half of the current nursing work force will be retiring in 10 years; nurses under the age of 30 comprise just 10 percent of the current nursing force. (Buerhaus PI, Staiger DO, Auerbach DI: Implications of an Aging Registered Nurse Workforce, JAMA, June 14, 2000, Vol. 283, No. 22, pp 2948-2954)
- As the number of elderly increases, the number of younger support workers will decline. In 2000, there were 39.5 workers for each person age 85 and older; by 2040, that figure will drop to 14.8. (U.S. General Accounting Office Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Nursing Workforce, July 2001)
- Unlike previous nursing shortages, this one is global in scope, affecting Canada, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Australia, South Africa and Western Europe as well as the United States.