Challenges Facing the Nursing Profession in the 21st Century.

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Challenges facing the nursing profession in the 21st century.

Looking ahead at some of the challenges facing the nursing profession seem pretty daunting. Nursing shortages, a rapidly aging population (to also include an aging nursing population), short staffed hospitals are the norm these days. These are just a few examples of some of the problems facing nurses today and into the next century.

With a population growing and hospital care struggling to keep up as it is, we have a catastrophe mounting on our hands. The baby boom generation is nearing retirement age. This means they will start to require more and more health related stays in hospitals as their health starts to fail them. The baby boomers make up a whopping 28% of this country. According to the article, The Baby Boomers’ Massive Impact on Health Care, “AHA acknowledged that the over-65 population will triple between 1980 and 2030, with the first baby boomers turning 65 in 2011. Although the health and lifestyle of people at age 65 is very different than it was in generations past—it’s even been said that “60 is the new 50”—the reality remains that chronic conditions continue to plague the population. In fact, AHA reported that more than 37 million boomers will be managing more than one chronic condition by 2030(Orlovsky, www.nursezone.com). Add in the advancing age of nurses as well.

As there is a demand for qualified nurses right now, the demand is growing everyday. According to the ANA the average age of a registered nurse is currently at 46.8 years. This is a scary thing. Since there is already a shortage of nurses, what will happen when these older nurses start to retire? Where and how does the growing demand stop growing? This is a huge question that needs to be answered quick. The ANA has also stated,” According to the BLS report, more than 2.9 million RNs will be employed in the year 2012, up 623,000 from the nearly 2.3 million RNs employed in 2002. However, the total job openings,...
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