Elderly Patients Hit Hardest By Nurse Shortage

The nurse staffing invoice funding experts at PRN Funding recently came across a blog entry by Brooke Stafford (a nursing practitioner student and also writes for Family Nurse Practitioner Degrees) that we wanted to share with our nurse staffing industry readers.

Ms. Stafford wrote about Five Ways the Nursing Shortage is Affecting the Elderly, which we condensed below:

  1. Too many patients – Because there are fewer nurses to go around, they often take on more patients than they can effectively handle.
  2. More mistakes – If your nurse doesn’t know one patient from the next, it can be easy to confuse treatments, drugs, and more.
  3. More falls – While in a health care facility, falling is one of the most common ways seniors injure themselves.
  4. Quicker discharge – Ever feel as if you’re being rushed out of a hospital or other health care facility? The nursing shortage might be to blame.
  5. Quality drop – This is perhaps the most dangerous way the nursing shortage is affecting the elderly.

Nurse Shortage Declines – Study Reveals More Entering the Profession

After hearing countless reports about the worldwide nursing shortage, researchers at RAND Corporation say the trend is reversing. Specifically, the number of women in their early 20s who became registered nurses increased by 62 percent from 2002 to 2009. Combined with the fact that registered nurses today tend to enter training at older ages than a generation ago, these new entering cohorts are projected to become the largest group of nurses ever observed, according to researchers from the RAND Corporation, Vanderbilt University and Dartmouth College.

The study’s lead author and economist, David Auerbach was quoted in the official press announcement: “The spike we’ve seen in young women becoming registered nurses is dramatic. If the trend continues, it will help to ease some of the concerns about future nursing shortages.”

Researchers say there are several reasons that interest in nursing has surged. Several major initiatives were launched to increase interest in nursing careers. Meanwhile, nurse training programs expanded enrollment and created innovative efforts that allows some people to get training on an accelerated schedule.

In addition, the economic downturn and a continued decline in manufacturing jobs has reduced many of the career opportunities that had attracted young people who otherwise might choose nursing.

Click here to read the official announcement: More Young People Are Becoming Nurses; Trend May Help Ease Future Nursing Shortage.

Hospitals See Specialty Nurse Shortages

It’s no secret that the United States is on the cusp of a nationwide nurse shortage as baby boomers continue to age and need more medical care. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association projects the RN shortage to hit 400,000 by 2020.

The nurse staffing factoring specialists at PRN Funding have blogged about how nurse staffing agency owners can and should take advantage of this shortage by filling open positions before, however, we found a recent article stating that facilities don’t just need RNs. They need specialty nurses too.

The article, Nationwide Shortage of Nurses Hits Local Hospital in Specialty Health Care Departments, talks about nurse shortages specifically in cardiology and pediatrics. Specifically, the medical facility has been trying for two years to fill the catheter lab nurse position.

For nurse staffing business owners, this would be a great opportunity to get your foot in the door at a facility.

PRN Funding helps provide reliable nurse staffing funding solutions for your agency. Learn more about our nurse staffing factoring solutions today.

Economic Recession is Helping the Nurse Shortage

In the past, PRN Funding’s nurse staffing factoring specialists have blogged about the effects of the economy on the nurse shortage. Today’s Wall Street Journal had more proof that the economic decline is helping to ease the nursing shortage, though some people think that once the economy turns around, the the nursing shortage could quickly reignite.

Long story short, many nurses who had previously left the field during better economic times have been returning in droves to compensate for a spouse’s lost income and/or health benefits.

According to the WSJ article, about half of the nurses who boomeranged back into the profession were over 50. As those nurses continue to age and retire from the field entirely, the shortage will most likely widen.

Click here to read the entire article: Nursing Shortage Eases With Recession’s Help.

NYC Council Speaker Aims to Improve Nurse Shortage

Although she alluded to it about a month ago during her State of the City Address, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn formally announced a five-year partnership with CUNY to increase the university’s teaching capacity to train an additional 100 nursing students a year.

New York is hit just as hard with the national nurse shortage, turning down 575 nurse applicants last year due to a lack of nursing teachers.

Quinn’s initiative would permit CUNY to pull five to ten seasoned nurses from New York City’s hospitals and have them teach as guest faculty members. Quinn’s solution would result in the training of 100 new nurses a year.

Click here to read more about Quinn’s nurse shortage plans.

Multiple States Face School Nurse Shortages

In the past couple of weeks, there have been a number of news reports covering the shortage of nurses in schools.

According to WKSFY.com‘s web site, in the state of South Dakota, there is only one school nurse for every 1354 students. State leaders blame the lack in school funding as the cause. Meanwhile, CampusRn reported that school nurses in West Virginia “are confronting an increasingly complex batch of patients who require more specialized treatment.” Kanawha County’s 33 school nurses are dealing with hundred of cases of asthma, anxiety, ADHD, heart problems, seizure disorders, clinical depression and lifethreatening allergies.

Q: Some schools are starting to use nurses from temporary staffing agencies to help fill the gaps and administer ongoing care. Have you considered staffing nurses to local school districts?

Connecticut’s Nurse Shortage Could Become Crisis

Nurses, nursing school instructors and others in the nursing field in Connecticut (CT) are waiting to hear if a proposed $185,000 federal grant will be approved for the Connecticut State University System’s nursing programs, an Associated Press article announced earlier this week.

If approved, the money would be used to add seats to nursing programs at Central, Western, Southern and Eastern Connecticut state universities to combat the state-wide nurse shortage.  In addition, the money would help fund programs for more graduate training opportunities, scholarships and equipment.

Click here to read the story in the Hartford Courant: Officials: Nursing shortage could become crisis.

Nurse shortage and need for immigrant nurses

Greg Siskind is the Founder of Siskind, Susser, Bland, P.C. – Immigration Lawyers, which is one of top ten largest immigration practices in United States.  In his the Greg Siskind blog, Greg added a post discussing how the current immigration system is adding to the United States’ nurse shortage.  He writes: “Low green card quotas have also left the U.S. with an undersupply of nurses that threatens patient care.”  He also offers a short-term solution, encouraging the U.S. government to ease the limit on foreign nurses allowed entry into the United States.


Click here to read his entire post: WSJ writes on dangers of nursing shortage and need for immigrant nurses.


US Report Suggests Using Nurses to Fill Doctor Shortage

The U.S. Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report stating that nurses have the capability to handle “much of the strain that healthcare reform will place on doctors and should be given both the education and the authority to take on more medical duties.”

The report suggests that the U.S. Government and non-profit organizations should fund grants and scholarships to allow nurses to further their educations so they can take on bigger responsibilities.

Q: If  nurses are pulled away from their nursing responsibilities and asked to take on more doctor-like ones, it may help with the physician shortage. However, who will step up to help fill the gaps with the nursing shortage?

Click here to read the entire article: Doctor shortage looming? Use nurses, US report says.

Younger Nurses Feel Positive About the Future of Nurse Employment

In a recovering economy, many older nurses are considering retirement or have plans to pursue another career. Although the job market still hasn’t full recovered, a recent survey shows that many younger nurses hold a positive outlook for their profession and plan on pursuing higher education in the field.

According to the 2013 Survey of Registered Nurses conducted by AMN Healthcare, nearly 190,000 nurses admitted that they were thinking about leaving nursing or retiring as the economy continues to improve. Additionally, one in four nurses age 55 and up said they would change their career paths entirely by searching for work in other industries.

When it comes to furthering education, less than half of the nurses who held an associate degree or diploma said they were planning to pursue higher education in the field of nursing. Conversely, younger nurses are more likely to be interested in additional education. The landmark Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, advises that 80 percent of nurses in the U.S. should hold a BSN or higher degree by the year 2020.

Although nurses among all age groups reported that they were highly satisfied with their profession, the survey found that younger nurses (19-39) held a more positive outlook than nurses 55 and older in regards to the current quality of nursing. Furthermore, 66 percent of nurses 55 and older believe that the quality of nursing care has declined.

As a result, a generational gap exists among nurses in regards to their overall perspective of their practice. The survey revealed that younger RNs often hold a positive opinion of the nurse supply. Regardless of shortages in the industry, nurses between the ages of 19-39 said they remain positive about the supply of nurses, and believe that they are capable of meeting the expectations brought on by the new healthcare initiative. Additionally, while 45 percent of younger nurses said the shortage has improved throughout the past five years, 41 percent of older RNs between the ages of 40-54 held the same belief.

The survey also measured nurses’ overall satisfaction with their current jobs. Among the respondents, 90 percent of nurses reported that they were happy with their careers, while 73 percent said they were satisfied with their current profession.

Peter McMenamin, healthcare economist and senior policy fellow for the American Nurses Association, said that this survey projects an optimistic future for nursing. Additionally, he said that the findings revealed from the survey are consistent with research conducted by the ANA.

The future of nurse staffing looks promising. Is your nurse staffing agency primed for growth? PRN Funding offers accounts receivable factoring programs designed exclusively for the nurse staffing industry. Cash flow can get tight during times of growth, but nurse staffing factoring provides a steady source of working capital to cover payroll and other expenses. Learn more about factoring for nurse staffing.