In addition to the shortage of doctors in all areas, there is an even more dire shortage of nurses. A report updated in September 2006 by the American College of Nursing, reported the following summary numbers from a variety of sources. An HRSA study released in April 2006, projects that the nation's nursing shortage would grow to 1 million by 2020. All 50 states will experience a shortage of nurses to varying degrees by the year 2015. Currently, according to a report from the American Hospital Association released in April 2006, U.S hospitals need approximately 118,000 registered nurses to fill vacant positions nationwide. This translates into a national vacancy rate of 8.5%. Another survey reported that 85% of hospital CEOs reported shortages of RNs. Another study conducted in 2004, found that a clear majority of RNs i.e. 82% and doctors i.e. 81% perceived shortages where they worked. In Australia, the Australian Council of Deans of Nursing has observed that by the end of year 2006, the country had only 60 per cent of the registered nurses it required. In Canada, there is concern about the exodus of a third of the registered nurses due to retirement. Similar trends have been observed in Europe, Asia, and Africa. (Pat Salisbury, Reverse Shortage of Doctors and Nurses. Executive Intelligence Review. January, 2005. EIR Publication)
MANAGEMENT AND SOLUTION FOR THE SHORTAGE
It is important that such research and pilot programs should be launched that can be helpful towards the creation of new nursing models and further, relate their effects on patient outcomes and satisfaction with care. This can be performed through,
1. Redesign of nursing work environments, with a significant emphasis on application of new technologies to facilitate the medical and nursing practices.
2. It is important to create Nursing leadership, and new professional models should be introduced.
3. It is important to reinvent nursing education to better prepare students for and reflect the current work environment.
The shortage crisis can be managed by attracting and retaining generation of nurses and physicians and by ensuring that new medical and nursing workforce is the representation of ethnic and racial diversity.
It is important to focus on reinvention of nursing education and work environments to address the needs and values of the new nurses and physicians. This will foster the creation of new training and educational models and new community-based roles that utilize the unique skills of physicians and nurses, while fostering satisfaction and competence. It is important to develop replicable demonstration projects to attract and retain men, minorities and special populations. It is also important to establish a national nursing workforce measurement and data collection system, which can provide consistent and comparable data that, can be aggregated and compared at national, state and county levels.
The shortfall can be reduced by introduction of a clearinghouse of effective strategies to advance cultural change within the nursing and medical profession by creating a comprehensive, updated website that is non-territorial, easy to access, and provides important information for health care leaders about research, programs and models that have proven successful in advancement of nursing and medic