The United States is currently experiencing a shortage of medical professionals, particularly nurses. It is estimated that 12 million nurses are currently employed in the country, though that is still not enough. Nursing, a challenging career that demands a scientific degree, is not something people can enter into lightly. It requires skill, knowledge and passion to become a competent nurse and the role is not easy to fill. For that reason, the shortage of nurses that has been present since the 1980’s has been slow to improve.
There were many factors that led to the current nursing shortage in the United States. Decades ago, there were quite a few cutbacks made to hospitals due to money-management issues within the bureaucracy. Insurance companies, hospital management, corporate greed, etc. are commonly blamed for many hospital nurses losing their jobs in the 1980’s. However, the nursing shortage can also be attributed to a rise in population and the retirement of many baby boomer nurses. More people are leaving the nursing field while not enough are entering to counteract the loss.
There is an upside to the nursing shortage in the United States, however. With the need for nurses being so high, many organizations are eager to offer financial aid to those who are specifically seeking a nursing degree. Nursing schools are offering added incentives to ensure that competent people who would make great nurses aren’t passing by the opportunity. Online schools are also offering nursing programs to those who are unable to attend classes on campus. This should encourage more people to join the industry.
Another benefit for potential nurses that is a result of the shortage is the higher salary. The average hospital staff nurse makes an estimate $45,000, which is higher than the national average for all careers. A nurse with an advanced degree will make even more than that, particularly once he/she has at least three years of experience. An experienced nurse with a graduate degree can make close to six figures when serving in a management position. Hospitals, private clinics, corporations and other places are eager to remedy their shortage of nurses and are prepared to compensate potential applicants with a sizable income.
There has never been a better time to become a nurse, which is due in large part to the nursing shortage. Men and women who enter this field will be doing their nation a favor by providing needed care to patients and filling voids in medical facilities. Also, nursing schools are offering top-notch accommodations to those with potential to become great nurses. Last but not least, this shortage has improved the income of the average nurse, which is only expected to grow in the near future.