Nurse in front of American flag.

America’s Nursing Shortage: It’s Real and It’s Back!

America’s Nursing Shortage

A nursing shortage is looming and rapidly approaching, the likes of which would be twice as large as any nursing shortage experienced in this country since the mid-1960s.

The Vital Signs are Dropping:

  • The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012-2022 projections state there will be 1.05 million RN job openings in 2022, only 5 years from now.
  • Robert Wood Johnson RN Work Project reports that 17.5% of newly licensed RNs leave their jobs in the first year and 33.3% leave within two years.
  • Dr. Peter Buerhaus, nursing manpower research expert, points to a rapidly aging workforce as a primary contributor to the projected shortage. Because RNs over age 50 will soon be the largest age group in the nursing workforce, their retirement is leading to a projected shortfall developing as early as 2018.
2018 is quickly approaching and organizations need a winning strategy that will focus on supporting and retaining the existing RN workforce in their early career stages and into future decades.
Nurses report they feel satisfied and engaged in their jobs when they:

  • Work in organizations that value high-quality patient care
  • Can impact their practice of nursing care by having direct input into how care is delivered
  • Work in a safe environment that supports work-life balance
  • Have opportunities for advancement
Effective leadership is a key element of support for nurses and nursing practice at the highest of standards.
What happens when there is turnover of leaders, particularly supportive ones?

  • Nurses can feel as if they are left on their own with only episodic attention from a leader “covering” multiple areas.
  • An organization can be in danger of rapid decline in RN satisfaction followed by a quick exodus of current staff.
On average, it takes six months to replace a permanent nursing leader so a plan to provide leadership during transition is essential.

A solution that will preserve valued RN resources is Interim Nursing Leadership through Kirby Bates Associates.  Interim nursing leaders from KBA provide support and preserve an organization’s RN resources along with continued attention to the hospital and patient care agenda.

Explore interim nursing leadership with KBA, you’ll be glad you did!