Nursing shortage refers to a situation where the demand for nurses is greater than the supply. This is the current situation for nursing, which includes registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs). This shortage is not limited to America alone, as the problem exists in countries all over the world.
The Bureau follows those statistics with similar percentages for certified nursing assistants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in their 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook states the job outlook for nursing assistants is excellent and employment is expected to grow faster than other occupations. Employment for certified nursing aides is expected to grow 19 %, a little higher than nursing in general. This result is primarily in response to the long-term care needs of an increasing elderly population and the financial pressures on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible. With an enormous number of baby boomers coming into retirement age and the US population projected to grow at least 18% over two decades in the 21st century, and the population of those sixty-five and older expected to increase three times that rate, the number of healthcare providers needed greatly increases.
As a result, new jobs will be more numerous in nursing and residential care facilities than in hospitals, and growth will be especially strong in community care facilities for the elderly. Modern medical technology will also drive demand for nursing aides, as the technology saves and extends more lives, thus increasing the need for long-term care provided by aides.
In August of 2010 ABC News presented to the public a segment on the nursing/health care shortage. ABC stated that despite the unemployment numbers there continues to be a nursing shortage in our country and some of the top hospitals are continually trying to fill that shortage, yet never seem to have enough CNAs, LPNs or RNs coming through their doors.
To answer the demand for these shortages hospitals, care center and health advocates are becoming more and more resourceful. Multi-million dollar grants are being awarded to boost employment, international recruitment is promoted, nursing recruitment initiatives and nursing workforce development programs are enacted – all to help meet the demand for healthcare practitioners.
The large need for health care workers has resulted in a huge support system to help you succeed in your career for certification. Whether your long-term career goal is as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), or a certified nursing assistant (CNA- which can be a starting point to your future health care career), these programs are well worth pursuing.
A nursing degree is the first step for many considering a career as a nurse. There are many CNA programs available and many only take eight short weeks to complete.