Older Nurses Retiring In Droves, Creating Shortages

We are getting old. This is causing a problem across the country in the field of nursing.

Specifically, the problem is a national shortage of nurses in the labor market, and the main reason for this is age: the age of nurses, the age of patients and the age of educators.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported health-care occupations are expected to have 16 percent growth between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations.

The bureau identified the major reasons for this growth as an increased emphasis on preventive care, growing rates of chronic conditions and demand for health-care services from the baby-boom population. But there seems to be more to it.

“Nursing shortages are cyclic,” said B.J. Whiffen, dean of nursing at Southeast Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “I’ve been a nurse for 31 years, and I’ve seen it many times. But this one is a little different.”

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