The nursing shortage: Opportunities and challenges

A new blog series by American Sentinel University examines the current nurse shortage, its causes and possible solutions.

The four-part series launched earlier this month and is dedicated to answering the question as to whether healthcare is actually facing a serious deficit of registered nurses with advanced education. If so, what are the key factors contributing to the shortage and what should be done to best address the issue?"

Experienced acute care nurses remain in high demand, according to a 2015 report, and demand for nurses with bachelor degrees continues to inch upward. By many accounts the healthcare hiring field remains robust for nurses, particularly as a variety of roles open up in the community for nurses interested in population health.

The first blog post examines the conflicting opinions of groups that say the U.S. will be facing a nursing surplus by 2020 and those which claim that the nation is perpetually short of qualified nurses. 

"The increased emphasis on specialization may contribute to specific types of shortages in nursing," Judy Burckhardt, Ph.D., R.N., dean and professor, Nursing and Healthcare Programs at American Sentinel University, said in a announcement about the blog series. "For instance, trends stemming from the Affordable Care Act have created an increased demand for nurses with specialized skills in case management, informatics, nursing education, leadership, and infection prevention."

The second post discusses opportunities in the workplace that lead some experienced nurses to cycle out of bedside patient care and into administrative positions, information management, case management and other new roles. The essay also touched on the difficulties new nurses have acquiring clinical experience in a workplace that demands that nurses already be experienced. 

The final two blog posts will run by February 2 and will address the education pipeline and factors affecting supply and demand. 

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- read the first and second blog posts