Twenty Nursing Crisis Facts That Provide Hope

Facts that make all your hard work and sacrifice worth it. So here we go… Facts:*

1. Healthcare Regulations are constantly changing. The latest in regards to Nursing is that by the end of 2014 all Magnet Certification Acute Care Facilities must be staffed with RN’s and can no longer staff LPN’s. By the end of 2016 all Acute Care Facilities must be staffed with RN’s and can no longer staff LPN’s.

2. Over 126,000 nursing positions are unfilled in hospitals. Nurse shortages are even more acute in long-term care facilities and home-health care agencies.

3. By 2015, it is estimated the U.S.A. will be short 500,000 nurses.

4. By 2020, 65% of the population will be 65 or older. It is predicted we will lack 700,000 nurses to care for them.

5. The need for healthcare workers will triple by 2050.

6. The average age of the nurse today is 46.

7. Of the 2.7 million RNs in this country, 83% are employed in nursing

8. 30% of nurses under the age of 30 plan to leave their jobs within the next year.

9. 41% of nurses are dissatisfied with their current jobs, mostly due to poor staffing ratios.

10. Surveys prove nurses would prefer more help to more pay.

11. Hospitals offer free sign-on bonuses from $5,000 to $15,000!

12. Thousands of hospital deaths every year can be blamed on a nationwide nurse shortage, according to JCAH (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.)

13. Nursing staffing issues account for 50% of ventilator-related deaths, 42% of surgery-related deaths, 25% of transfusion errors, 19% of medicine errors, 14% of patient falls, and 14% of patient suicides.

14. For every patient over four that a nurse has to care for, patients face a 7% greater risk of dying.

15. Nationwide there is one school nurse for every 3521 students. Meanwhile, the incident of asthma and juvenile diabetes continue to climb.

16. Nursing shortages are plaguing most cities, large and small, not only in the USA, but worldwide.

17. Hospital units, and some entire hospitals, are closing, not for lack of rooms, but lack of nurses.

18. Emergency rooms throughout the country are often on “divert-status” daily, refusing to accept the patient in the ambulance due to lack of personnel in the ER.

19. Hospitals are forcing mandatory overtime to meet the patient-care loads. Nurses feel exhausted, overworked, and under-appreciated.

20. This shortage is a worldwide problem. Hospitals are recruiting nurses from foreign countries. While these incentives serve to fill our need, it leaves destitute countries with even fewer nurses. What do all these facts about the nursing crisis have to do with you? Boy, am I glad you asked! The simple answer to your question is that they spell OPPORTUNITY! They provide the leverage you need to change tomorrow. They make all the work and sacrifice of today well worth it.

You may be wondering how this applies to you? The answer is simple – you have every reason to be optimistic about tomorrow. By obtaining your degree and RN license, you will have the leverage to change your life circumstances. Let me point out some of the things you should be looking forward to:

Pay Raise: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average RN in our area earns over $43,310 per year more than the average LPN. If you are a paramedic, the average pay increase is $34,330.

Job Security: Employers are so short staffed that they bend over backwards to keep their RNs happy. Even if you lost a job, other employers are clamoring for your services. The demand is so great that they are even paying…

Sign-on Bonuses: These bonuses amount to thousands of dollars. Last year, one of my students told me about a friend who was given a new SUV as a sign-on bonus.

Flexibility: You can work the shifts you want. No longer are terrible hours thrust upon you.

Options: Many companies hire RNs, not just hospitals and nursing homes.

Respect: Although you will be the same person, the world will be looking at you with a new-found respect after you add the letters “RN” after your name. This includes patients, employers and the community in general.

Authority: You will finally be in a position where you are the responsible party. Others will look to you for decisions and guidance.

Time: You will have the time you need to spend with your loved one’s. This is especially true if you’ve been working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Now, you won’t have to. Will that change things with your spouse or children – you bet.

Financial Freedom: With a little discipline, you now will have the means to pay down those debts and begin investing in yourself and your family.

I encourage you to look past today. You have made a tremendous decision to change tomorrow. The sacrifices of today, the hard work, the missed time with the family, etc. will pay off. Keep the vision before you. See what you are becoming. Tomorrow is yours… Yes, the opportunity of your lifetime is upon you. What will you do with it?

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