Nursing Legislation

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Legislative Issue Faced by Nursing
The web site I found that discusses this critical issue is by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (AACN). This is an outstanding website that discusses the current and projected issues regarding the nursing shortage. The article identifies sobering figures of projected shortages up to the year 2020. By 2010, the nursing shortage is projected to be 12%, by 2015 to be 20% and by 2020 a frightening 29%. (AACN). If society and our political leaders do not recognize this as a topic of huge impact, then we, collectively, do not have a chance to change the trend. The driving forces for the trend are not extraordinary; they reflect our evolving world. Driving factors are increases in population, increase in the proportion of elderly population and technology/medical advancements that increase the need for nurses. (AACN). The shortage is not evenly distributed as one might expect, states such as New York and California will see the brunt of the shortage problem. In 2000, twenty-eight states had nursing shortages and by the year 2020, the projection is for forty-four states will have nursing shortages. (AACN).

The reasons for the shortages are not new, decreased number of nursing school graduates, the aging RN workforce, decrease in relative earnings, and the emergence of alternative job opportunities. (AACN). The distribution of the RN workforce is 61.9%-62.1% are/will be working in hospital settings, 8.4%-10.4% in nursing homes, and 6.5-8.9% in home health between the years of 2000 and 2020. (AACN).

“The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is concerned about the nursing shortage and is working with schools, policy makers, kindred organizations, and the media to bring attention to this health care crisis. AACN is working to enact legislation, identify strategies and form collaborations to address the nursing shortage.” (AACN).

Joint Commission on...
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