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Nursing Shortages: Why the demand continues to grow

What is causing the nursing shortage? The demand continues to grow

Registered nursing is one of the largest growing occupations in the world, and theirs a few different reasons for the continued demand. Not only is there a shortage of practicing nurses, but there is also a shortage of nursing educators. A shortage occurs when the demand for nurses is higher than the number of registered nurses available to work. As the current nursing shortage grows, the pressure continues to intensify for nursing programs to increase enrollment capacity to fill the vacant positions. 

What is causing the nursing shortage?

  • Retiring nurses or those choosing to leave the profession
  • Aging population necessitates increasing the level of care patients require
  • Nursing facility shortage capping prelicensure admission capacity
  • Nursing burnout

There is an abundant number of registered nurses either retiring or pursuing different professions. There has been a notable increase in nurses taking early retirement reducing an already depleted work force. The ANA estimates that one million nurses will retire between 2021 and 2030. Not only is the profession expected to lose a large number of nurses, but when experienced nurses leave, healthcare organizations are left to mitigate the threat of lost knowledge. Nurses will leave with the critical experience and knowledge they’ve accumulated, leaving enormous shoes to fill for graduating nurses. 

The second main culprit for the nursing shortage is that people are living longer due to advancing medical science. The U.S. has the largest number of Americans over the age of 65. As the population continues to age, the number of health conditions, chronic illnesses and co-morbidities requiring healthcare agencies to increase staff to provide quality care. 

The third element for nursing shortages is the pre-licensure nursing education capacity. There is a direct link between the nursing shortage and nursing education. According the AACN, nursing schools in the U.S. turned away 80,000 qualified applicants due to an inadequate number of faculty, clinical sites, academic space, and budget. 

The final contributor to highlight is nursing burnout. With the nursing shortage and the complexity of healthcare needs, many nurses are overworked and emotionally exhausted. Nurses are choosing to leave the profession. If the nursing shortage is not addressed, nurses will continue to leave the profession due to burnout. States with the highest amount of nursing vacancies include California, Texas, and New York. 

How Caring Bees HealthCare is dealing with nursing shortage:

Caring Bees HealthCare, along with healthcare agencies across the country are trying to recruit nurses to fill vacant positions. As a homecare agency we provide flexibility for our nurses with scheduling. This is a way for us to provide our nurses with the ability to avoid burnout, as they can set their schedules at their convenience. We are also turning our attention to hiring nurses that have recently graduated and providing further training with our experienced Rn’s. We hope that these two strategies will help us avoid nursing shortages in the future in our organization, so we can provide more care for our patients in need. 



“Nursing Shortage: Why There's a Continued Demand for Nurses.” Southern New Hampshire University,