Access to quality and affordable healthcare is being threatened in New York due to a serious nursing shortage. According to a new report, New York will need around sixty thousand more nurses within the next ten years if it is to provide quality healthcare for families.
Demand for Nurses is Outweighing the Supply
A survey done by the State University of New York showed that the demand for nurses was really high while the supply was minimal. According to the reports, there is a shortfall of 55% for experienced registered nurses(RN), 11% for newly licensed RNs, and 57% for nurse managers. These numbers are pretty high and they show how the shortage of nurses in New York is truly turning into a pandemic.
The Center for Health Work Studies recently released a report stating that when comparing the national average of registered nurses per capita, New York’s was pretty low. Although nurse shortages can be experienced in every corner of America, what are the specific causes of this shortage of nurses in New York?
A Large Percentage is Entering Retirement
A whopping 19% of the current nurses are aged over 55 years and will soon enter retirement. Since the percentage of nurses being recruited is low, this will soon be a massive issue and the shortage of nurses is bound to increase if something is not done immediately.
Few Nursing Faculties
An interesting find is that Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn graduated its last class of nursing students in the late 1970’s. Most institutions don’t have a nursing faculty and barely have the class space to teach nursing. This has forced aspiring nursing students to look at different online doctoral nursing programs rather than brick and mortar institutions. Online nurse practitioner doctorate degrees are quickly becoming more and more appealing to many individuals due to lack of nursing faculties.
Increased Dependency on Nurses
As the baby boomer generation ages, they are requiring more and more attention from trained nurses and healthcare specialists. This is mostly because many of them don’t want to be admitted into nursing homes and prefer to live independently in their own homes. The increased number of people needing the services of a trained nurse further elevates the nurses’ shortage.
According to the Centre for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, if nurse working conditions in the state were improved, approximately 40,000 lives would be saved annually nationwide. It is also clear that the need for nurses is not only in New York but across the US as well.
A nursing career can be very lucrative and, fortunately, more students are considering the option of alternative training paths. The government should make sure that there are several available nursing institutions and offer incentives like direct employment to ensure that the state will be able to deal with the increasing nurse shortage. We can expect local authorities to implement more programs to meet the demand and introduce more to the profession.