Nurses aged 65 and older are retiring in droves, at the same time the number of people with health insurance is going up. The shortage of nurses combined with the amount of people who have healthcare has created a massive nursing shortage in the US.
Surprise, surprise – it’s 2019 and America still doesn’t have enough nurses to adequately staff its hospitals.
You may recall the “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast” published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality, or at least its ominous forecast. Per the report, an RN shortage is projected to spread across the United States between 2009 and 2030. Further, the study forecasts the RN shortage will be most intense in the South and the West.
Florida, Texas and California alone are projected to account for some 40 percent of the nation’s nursing shortfall alone.
Now a decade into the projected shortfall window, America is witnessing this alarming shortage, especially hospitals in rural or low-population areas. Urban hospitals are closer to nursing schools and sturdy local economies, but rural hospitals don’t enjoy these local pipelines.
Where are all the nurses?
The nursing shortage can be partly contributed to what’s being called a “silver tsunami.” As baby boomer nurses age and enter retirement, there simply aren’t enough new nurses ready to take their place.
Between 2020 and 2030, the population of Americans age 65 and up is projected to increase by 18 million as the last of the baby boomer cohort reaches retirement age.
That spells enormous problems for hospital staffing and patients relying on quality care. In the July 2017 Journal of Nursing Regulation, Dr. Peter Buerhaus and colleagues explain:
“…the departure of such a large cohort of experienced RNs means that patient care settings and other organizations that depend on RNs will face a significant loss of nursing knowledge and expertise that will be felt for years to come.”
On top of the silver tsunami, there’s the fact that more Americans today are insured than ever before because of the Affordable Care Act, and America’s nursing shortfall appears even more ominous.
Nurse staffing solutions
Nursing schools across America are struggling to expand capacity to meet the rising demand for care. In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is working with schools, policy makers, nursing organizations and the media to bring attention to this healthcare concern.
But hospital and healthcare facilities alike need nurses now. And that’s why companies like Pluto Healthcare Staffing exist. Travel nurses are hitting the road and bringing quality to care to areas that need it most. And although it may sound like an expensive option for hospitals administrators, the reality is far from the narrative.
A 2017 KPMG study on hospital nursing labor costs found that the usage of travel nurses actually costs less than full-time nurses. The study surveyed 100 senior executives from hospitals all around the US, examining the cost data provided by hospitals for a full-time, permanent nurse. The hourly wage was approximately $89 per hour.
The cost was just $83 an hour for travel nurses.
If you need nursing talent, click here and see how quickly pluto can address your staffing needs.