Nursing Shortage Awaits Baby BoomersCNNMoney: "Baby boomers are getting older and will require more care than ever, taxing an already strained nursing system. America has had a nursing shortage for years, said Peter Buerhaus, workforce analyst at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn. But by 2025, the country will be facing a shortfall of 260,000 RNs, he said."
"That's because nursing schools are already maxed out. ... The nursing profession has benefited from the recession, which has prompted new nurses to sign up for school and older nurses to postpone retirement, Buerhaus said. Some 243,000 registered nurses entered or re-entered the profession during the recession that began in 2007, he said, including many who were forced out of retirement by financial difficulties. But as the economy improves that kind of growth is unlikely to continue. And experts stress that there will be a nursing shortage even if every nursing school is at capacity. A lack of teaching staff is the biggest hurdle to minting new RNs, according to Cheryl Peterson, director of nursing practice and policy for the American Nurses Association. ... It's hard to recruit and retain nursing instructors when they can usually make more money working in a hospital" (Smith, 12/22). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.