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Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 28
Alwin, who has worked as an intensive care nurse for years, has a post about the coming shortage of nurses:
…we’ll hit a sort of “brick wall” in the year 2010. That’s the year that the US government forecasts that we hit the tipping point, where there will be just enough nurses to take care of all the patients in the normal course of the day. After 2010, we begin to fall down a rather slippery slope.Because after 2010 it doesn’t matter how much we spend. There just won’t be enough nurses to take care of all the patients in the US. And it doesn’t matter if at that point we begin a “crash program” to train nurses in this country. Because newly graduated nurses, like newly graduated physicians, need supervision, time, and experience in order to become safe and competent practitioners.
I dug up the relevant government study, a report entitled “Projected Supply, Demand, and Shortages of Registered Nurses: 2000-2020.” Here’s what it said:
Based on what is known about trends in the supply of RNs and their anticipated demand, the shortage is expected to grow relatively slowly until 2010, by which time it will have reached 12 percent. At that point demand will begin to exceed supply at an accelerated rate and by 2015 the shortage, a relatively modest 6 percent in the year 2000, will have almost quadrupled to 20 percent.
This is something I need to ponder.
Michael Mandel, BW's award-winning chief economist, provides his unique perspective on the hot economic issues of the day. From globalization to the future of work to the ups and downs of the financial markets, Mandel-named 2006 economic journalist of the year by the World Leadership Forum-offers cutting edge analysis and commentary.