Monday, February 22, 2016

THE US IS RUNNING OUT OF NURSES

The Atlantic has a longform article detailing the current US nursing shortage in which it highlights that 1.2 million nursing positions will be unfilled in the next five years.  While nursing shortages have existed in the US for most of the last forty years, this one is going to be different.  The US nurse supply has been artificially inflated since the start of the recession.  Now that the recession has abated, nurse retirement numbers are spiking.  Musillo Unkenholt saw more demand for foreign-trained nurses in 2015 than we had in the whole of 2009-14. 

The reasons for the current US nursing shortage are many:

Baby Boom Generation Demand.  The US Baby Boom generation, those born 1946-1964, has reached an age where they will increasingly demand nursing services.  As The Atlantic points out:

Today, there are more Americans over the age of 65 than at any other time in U.S. history. Between 2010 and 2030, the population of senior citizens will increase by 75 percent to 69 million, meaning one in five Americans will be a senior citizen; in 2050, an estimated 88.5 million people in the U.S. will be aged 65 and older.

Aging Nursing Workforce.  Out of the 3 million US nurses, one million are over age 50 and will be expected to retire in the next 10-15 years.

Few Nurse Educators.  Nursing Ph.D. programs have been unable to attract nursing faculty.  These nurses Ph.D’s have traditionally made up large numbers of nursing school faculty.  Part of the reason for this is that a Bachelor nursing graduate is usually offered a job at graduation, thus reducing that graduate’s incentive to seek out graduate nursing education.  Without a dramatic increase in nurse faculty, it will be impossible for the US to supply enough nurses to meet the demand.

Distribution Challenges.  Some of the American nursing problem stems from the lack of mobility ion the nursing force.  Nurses are often unwilling to leave their hometowns for jobs in rural areas or high-nurse demand areas, even if those positions pay better.

Lack of Foreign-Nurses.  Because of a terribly though-out US immigration policy, it takes a nurse from the Philippines many years to legally obtain a visa, in spite of the nursing shortage.  The Philippines has traditionally been the greatest supplier of US nurses.  The story is even worse for India, which would certainly be able to supply the US with many nurses if it did not take 10 years for a fully-qualified nurse to obtain a US visa.  As a result of the lack of US nursing visa options, foreign-trained nurses have declined sitting for the US licensing exams

Ten years ago the US congress passed a special EX visa just for occupations that were found to be nationally short by the Department of Labor.  These occupations were placed on the DOL’s Schedule A.  By placing an occupation on Schedule A, the Department of Labor finds that the importation of workers in the occupational classification will not negatively impact existing US labor.

Only two occupations are on Schedule A – Registered Nursing and Physical Therapy.  Does it not stand to reason that there ought to be a better immigration program to allow these badly needed workers entry into the US? 

7 comments:

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    1. Dear nurses, “February 2002 was a turning point for me. All my children had left the proverbial nest, my husband's health forced him into an early retirement, so he and I decided to take my career into a different realm as a 'Travel Nurse'. Our motto, 'Let's travel before we're too old, too sick, and too broke' has taken us places we had not even dreamed possible. Though I've been across country and back again, worked for several different companies, AHG is by far my favorite. As a reliable company, they pay attention to me, they listen to what I have to say, and make every effort to make each assignment special. They treat me as if I'm a member of the family, instead of an employee. My recruiter is totally awesome, she directs and guides me to the 'right' assignment for me. She calls or texts me to see if I need anything and if I do - she's right on it! But it doesn't stop there, she surprises me with cards and gifts in the mail to let me know that she's thinking of me, and that she appreciates what I do as well. 

I receive that same thoughtfulness with the Housing Coordinator, who ensures housing is warm and welcoming for me, my husband, and my baby. A care package usually arrives one or two weeks after we pick up the key to our assignment home which includes a box of treats for my pet. I can't say enough good things about AHG. Not only do they care about me, but they care about their community as well, and take part in various community event fundraisers for various charities. AHG has long proven to be a Community of Caring, and I love working not only for them, but with them, and I highly recommend them to any nurse that is considering embarking on the Adventures of a Lifetime, The Life of the Nurse Gypsy.”
      Danielle,RN,BSN daniellern18@gmail.com

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  3. Hi colleagues, “I cannot tell people enough how much I love love love AHG! My recruiter is always there for me when I need her and when I don't. She goes the extra mile in making sure I have everything I want and need when I'm on an assignment away from my family. I feel this is an attribute everyone at AHG has! Everyone at AHG has been more than helpful and accommodating. When there's a problem everyone is always on top of it to solve it as expediently as possible. My favorite part of being a AHG traveler is, I feel like I'm family. I'm not just a number or a nurse out on assignment. My favorite AHG moment was the DC meet and greet! I got to meet some of the recruiters and although they were not my recruiter they treated me like I was theirs! It's great to be part of the AHG family!”
    Carl Ortiz,RN, BSN carl.ortiz.rn@gmail.com

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  4. Hi colleagues, “AHG has been there every step of the way. No matter where our future travels take us, we have the peace of mind that our recruiter is no more than 5 minutes away, day or night. We have looked at other travel companies but none ever come close to the pay and benefits we enjoy with AHG.”
    Liz and Steve,RN Travel Team liz.steve80@yahoo.com

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  5. اعمال شركة تنظيف بالرياض متميزة داخل المنطقة التي تعمل بها لانها تعمل علي تقديم كل ما هو جديد في عالم النظافة لتقديم خدمة متميزة للعميل فتعامل مع شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض ستلاقي فريق من العمال لدك مختصين في اعمال نظافة الفلل وهذا يحدث ايضا مع شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    والتي تعمل علي نظافة الخزانات وتعقيها للقضاء علي الاوساخ والبكتريا الصغيرة التي توجد بها معكم ايضا شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض التي تعمل علي الصيانة والتنظيف بواسطة اثنين من الفنين المختصين في مجال المسابح واليك خدمة اساسية تلبي لك العيش في بيئة خالية من الحشرات الصغيرة من خلال قسم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض الذي يعمل علي القضاء علي جميع الحشرات المنزلية كما يوجد قسم اخر في مجال مكافحة الحشرات وهو شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض التي تقدم خدمة الوقاية والقضاء علي هذه الافات بواسطة مبيدات طبيعية

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