Even though nursing is the United States’ fifth largest occupation, an increasing demand for qualified nursing staff has created a shortage throughout much of the country.
The Nursing Profession
Four million new jobs are expected to be added to the healthcare industry by 2020, and the Institute of Medicine recommends that by this time 80% of the nursing workforce should have a BSN.
However, the supply of registered nurses is not expected to match the demand, resulting in an estimated shortage of 260,000 nurses by 2025.
Even though almost 300,000 unique job postings were listed for registered nurses in 2015, only 97,549 of these positions have been filled.
Factors Causing the Upcoming Nursing Shortage
The retirement of the baby boomer generation is expected to have a huge impact on the looming nursing shortage.
In addition, enrollment at nursing schools is not increasing quickly enough to match the demand for qualified nursing staff.
With the rise of chronic diseases, there is a need for more nurses to deal with this increase of patients.
States Facing Nursing Shortages
Health care organizations are finding it difficult to fill nursing positions in as many as 30 states. States such as Arizona, Colorado, Maryland and North Carolina have some of the biggest shortages.
Impact of BSN Nurse Staffing on Patient Care
Adequate nurse staffing levels can lessen rates of infection and failure-to-rescue incidents, reduce the duration of hospital stays and decrease the number of patient deaths.
Scheduling more nurses to work in hospital units while reducing the number of nurses’ overtime hours was associated with lower costs for the organization and was also connected to, “fewer patients being readmitted or visiting the emergency department within the first 30 days after hospital discharge.”
A 10 percent increase in the proportion of registered nurses with BSN degrees resulted in a 10.9 percent decrease in the rate of patient mortality.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of the entire nursing workforce should have a BSN by 2020.
Nursing is a profession with unlimited opportunity, which is why now is the best time to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Read this comprehensive infographic to learn more about the looming nursing shortage and the growing demand for more nursing staff.