Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Who Will Take Care of Us?

    nursing shortage

    continued...

    With the nation already in a nursing shortage, a separate report released Wednesday by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Nursing Institute suggests even deeper problems down the road. According to Lynn Martin, who chaired the university's effort, the coming boom in the over-65 population will find America with not enough healthcare workers "to care for the people who will need it most."

    Between 2010 and 2030, the report noted, the ratio of potential caregivers to the people most likely to need care will decrease by about 40%.

    What's to be done to head off that crisis?

    The nursing institute concluded that the U.S. needs a cultural shift, a "fundamental change in how nursing careers are perceived." It also called for better wages and benefits for nurses as well as a more desirable work environment.

    Ginsburg tells WebMD, "As long as our economy is good and there are opportunities elsewhere, this problem is going to continue -- unless hospitals can redesign the job to make it an attractive job once again. Hospitals are going to have to reinvent their working environment. That's how hospitals are going to compete in the labor market."

    Meanwhile, there are federal legislative efforts afoot to mandate that hospitals keep certain nurse-to-patient ratios and to prevent nurses from having to work mandatory overtime shifts.

    But Clarke tells WebMD, "These things are only small pieces of the pie. Nursing is an occupation for which you can't train people quickly, and that doesn't seem to resonate with people making career choices now."

    1 | 2

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.