The Nursing Shortage

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The nursing shortage most likely does not mean a great deal to people until they are in the care of a nurse. The United States is in a severe nursing shortage with no relief in sight due to many factors compounding the problem and resulting in compromised patient care and nurse burnout. Nursing shortages have been experienced in the past by the United States and have been overcome with team effort. However, the current shortage is proving to be the most complex and great strides are being made to defeat the crisis before it becomes too difficult to change. Researchers anticipate that by 2010, the United States will need almost one million more registered nurses than will be available (Cherry & Jacob, 2005, p. 30). The term “nursing shortage” is not new to America. In fact, the United States has past experiences with such shortages. It is important to recognize past nursing shortages because the events will assist researchers in examining the sources and strategies used to overcome the nursing deficit and facilitate a solution to the current crisis. During World War I and World War II, America called upon thousands of women to become nurses for their country to help in hospitals and overseas units. America’s calling was considered a success and by the end of World War I, 23,000 nurses served in Army and Navy cantonments and hospitals, 10,000 served overseas, and 260 either died in the line of duty or from the influenza pandemic (“Nursing Reflections”, 2000, p. 18). In the early 1930s, nurses experienced the devastation of the depression. Families were very poor and unable to feed themselves let alone pay for a nursing visit. This caused many nurses to seek work elsewhere. Nurses who were lucky to be empl... ... middle of paper ... ...ttp:// Cherry, B., Jacob, S. (2005). Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends, & Management (pp. 30-31). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Inc. Clark, P., Leddy, K., Drain, M., Kaldenberg, D. (2007). State nursing shortages and patient satisfaction [Electronic Version]. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 119-127. Glendale Community College Library Media Center Glendale, AZ. 7 June 2007 Kelly, J. (2007, June 10). Nursing programs struggle to expand. The Arizona Republic, p. B3, B7. Mosby, Inc. Nursing Reflections: a Century of Caring. St. Louis: Mosby, 2000. West, E., Griffith, W., Iphofen, R. (2007, April vol.16/no.2). A historical perspective on the nursing shortage. Professional Issues, 124-130. Zerwekh, J., Claborn, J. (2006). Nursing today: Transitions and trends (pp. 343-346). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Inc.

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