The Effect of an Aging Nurse Workforce on the Nursing Shortage [Infographic]

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Where Have All The Nurses Gone?

While many new grad nurses are struggling to find their first job, it seems that the nursing population as a whole is aging. Although, the folks at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics need only do a quick google search or browse slightly on linked in to find gobs of young nurses sink their teeth into their first nursing gig. Twitter is filled with many new grads eager to nurse as well. So managers, there are grads, they want to work,and they’d love to hear from you! Use social media for it’s benefits, because based upon this infographic, there are areas that do have shortages of nurses, or will have them soon.

The ratio of older nurses to new nurses is shifting. This infographic likely is reflective of how when the economy is poor, nurses stay in the workforce longer.

With 3 nurses school in my hometown, and 2 in my current location, we certainly didn’t have a shortage of nurses. Then again, if hospitals had mandated safe staffing rations for patients to nurses then I might have witnessed this shortness.

Gosh I just love infographics. Don’t you?

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Brittney,
    Thanks for all the updated stats and discussion points re: Aging Nurse Workforce. I can’t help but wonder if we are missing opportunities by not being more creative with our workforce. Shouldn’t organizations make it a priority to bring in new grads while they are fresh out of school? Their enthusiasm for practice, tech skills and up-to-date academic learning could vitalize or revitalize an aging workforce….IF IF IF we older nurses are receptive. We too have much to offer in terms of experience, clinical judgement, and potential support.

    What really makes sense to me would be to lower the number of hours needed for full time work and benefits. I think it would be much healthier for us and safer for patients and create more jobs for new grads. Also, we could make the best of transitioning in new and out retiring nurses with mutual respect and exchange of skills, expertise, and knowledge. Intuitively, I believe that the expense of this in the long run would be less than costs of turnover, errors, and workplace violence.

    Once when I was traveling, I was in a cab with a young surgeon and we were talking about disruptive behavior among docs and nurses. She thought that the only answer was attrition. I found this a sad comment, not necessarily wrong, but wouldn’t we be loosing a lot of valuable experience, isn’t there a better way?

    Beth

  2. says

    I saw reference not long ago to a new study, by RAND if I remember correctly, suggesting that the impending shortage may be resolving, due to a surge in new students, the largest in decades, likely associated with the current economic picture. It seems that employers perhaps are reluctant to spend the money to train new grads who might soon quit as they gain experience, a better idea as to their career path, and options. New grads have much to offer, though, in enthusiasm, fresh and up to date education, energy and openness to new ideas. As we begin to see increasing numbers of retiring Nurses, there will be tremendous cost savings to institutions, as in Nursing, experience continues to completely trump performance in determining pay. It may just be that with such savings, we may just be able to sell the idea of better staffing. On the whole, Si see no reason to write us off just yet: we have time to think, and to act intelligently to maintain adequate staffing.

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