Looking down the barrel of a world wide pandemic, comes the news that there are 135,000 unfilled nursing positions in the United States. By 2015, this number is expected to go to be 683,000 unfilled positions.
Two main reasons are given for these shortages:
1. Nursing hours are long, difficult and stressful
2. There is a huge shortage of nursing faculty.
We are running out of nurses to teach prospective nurses.
Back in the day, there were 2 professional jobs for women—nursing and teaching. All fields of professional work are now open to women. Many choose other professions than nursing. Although men are now nurses, certainly not all that many join the nursing field.
There are probably some carry over stereotypes from an earlier time that we don’t even realize we say. How many of us say ‘male nurse’ without even thinking about it. Do we say ‘female nurse?’ No. Americans need to put nurses in a better light and to drop the gender stereotyping.
Immigration issues are adding to the shortage of nurses. There is a 6 year wait for nurses to be allowed to come here legally. Several acts are before congress to help speed along the immigration process for those who want to come here to practice medicine. Currently, the only thing stopping new nurses coming here is red tape. Many are standing in line, but the line doesn’t seem to be moving. If something doesn’t change, we can expect to face severely diminished nursing care in the very near future.