U.S. Nursing Shortage Approaches Record Levels

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National Nurses Week highlights growing demand for registered nurses; shortage of 1 million RNs is expected by 2011.

The American Nurses Association is celebrating the heroic and crucial care that nurses provide during this year’s National Nurses Week on May 6 through May 12.

The 2008 theme is "Nurses: Making a Difference Every Day." Organizations, including Allsup, which represents people nationwide for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, are helping to observe this special occasion and to recognize the important role of nurses.

More than 3 million RNs will be employed in 2016, an increase of 20 percent from more than 2.5 million in 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A combination of job growth, nurses retiring and leaving the profession, and fewer new nurses is expected to yield a shortage of more than 1 million RNs by the end of this decade.

But there’s no need to look to the future for a shortage. The American Hospital Association reported in mid-2007 that more than 5,000 community hospitals nationwide already have a need for 116,000 RNs to fill current job openings. More information can be found online.

Nurses work in an expansive variety of positions and workplaces to improve healthcare in the United States.

"Today’s nurses make the ultimate sacrifice on a daily basis to provide expert care during times of disaster and crisis," said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR. "We want to honor the men and women who not only chose this challenging and rewarding career, but make a difference in the lives of their patients and in the nursing community."

Nurses provide a particularly important role for individuals who become disabled through injury, illness or chronic disease. Along with supporting patients through times of trauma and crisis, nurses comfort patients’ families and are an indispensable resource for multidisciplinary medical teams working in hospitals, clinics and other care environments.

During National Nurses Week, the ANA and other organizations recognize the valuable service nurses provide to the community through their courage, heroic acts and commitment to quality care despite the increasing challenges facing healthcare.

Allsup is observing National Nurses Week with free posters available to hospitals, clinics and other community groups by calling Karen Hercules-Doerr at (800) 854-1418, ext. 5770.

Media contact:
American Nurses Association
Mary McNamara
(301) 628-5198                        
mary.mcnamara @ ana.org            

Free posters:    
Karen Hercules-Doerr
(800) 854-1418, ext. 5770
k.hercules-doerr @ allsupinc.com


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