Study: Nursing shortage gap closing

According to a new study, the shortage of nurses shrunk by 420,000 registered nurses. This means there is still a gap of 340,000 nurses, which is significantly less than the 760,000 originally projected. The study found that 80 percent of new nurses chose the job after leaving a career in another field. These nurses are in their late 20s and early 30s, rather than their early 20s. But despite a surge in registered nurses, the shortage still promises to cause problems for the healthcare industry. "I would liken it to a category five hurricane that's weakened to a category four. Even if it hits, a four's going to kill you as much a five. It's still a massive, big shortage," says professor Peter Buerhaus, who worked on the study. The research was funded by Johnson & Johnson and will be published today in the January/February issue of Health Affairs.

For more on the nursing shortage:
- read this Nashville Business Journal report