A 57-year-old mother and wife is diagnosed with esophagus cancer. The treatment leaves her too weak and too tired to move. On a good day, she might make it out of bed to go to the bathroom and the family is grateful for those days. Of course, the husband and son do all they can to help her, staying by her bed as they struggle to commute from work to the hospital and watch their loved one struggle to perform even basic tasks. Their journey is rough but they stick together as a family.
One sliver of hope that they receive is the care and attention their nurse gives to assuage the pain of both the mother and her family, as she transition from hospital to home care.
When doctors can no longer treat her condition, it was their nurse that eased her passing and gave the family comfort on the worst day of their lives.
This scene is painted vividly across the nation. Friends, family, and loved ones are faced with hard decisions and limited care options, as doctors and nurses continue to shrink in the US.
The doctors were by no means incompetent in this scenario, either. The issue rests with the state of US healthcare and the massive shortage of medical professionals. Doctors spend less and less time with their patients, checking in every now and again because there are less of them to spare in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
The U.S. Needs Nurses: Statistics
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, The U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) which will intensify as Baby Boomers age and their need for health care grows. Nurses are needed now more than ever.
There are other contributing factors that make the situation even more dire in the US.
The two main factors are the growing elderly population among Baby Boomers and the percentage of nurses over the age of 50 getting ready to retire. In fact, around 700,000 nurses are projected to retire or leave the labor force by 2024.
This will leave healthcare facilities in a delicate position, with a less experienced staff that will face a lot more problems than the previous generations.
Despite being one of the fastest growing fields, demand is quickly outpacing the current supply of nurses.
The population of people over the age of 65 is expected to increase by 75 percent over the next 20 years.
It can’t be expressed enough that the need for trained nurses is here, in the present. According to the National Council on Aging, “80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 68 percent have at least two.”
Now, some states are less prepared to deal with this radical paradigm shift than others. In these states, positions in nursing and healthcare are expected to grow even faster, allowing students a great opportunity to enter the industry easier than previous generations. States like California, which for the past 20 years have only produced 50 percent of the nursing force they’ve needed, is a prime example.
The benefit of choosing a nursing program is that they can move anywhere and find employment, creating exciting new opportunities in their hometown or anywhere in the country. The benefits of these positions are job security, competitive pay, the knowledge that you’ll be doing your community, giving you a strong cultural fit too.
There are many reasons to go into the healthcare field but above all else, there is the overwhelming sense of pride in your work. You get to experience people’s greatest joys and help them through their greatest sorrows.
Now, more than ever, the country needs trained medical experts to help solve the shortage of general practitioners and nurses.
To learn more about getting involved, contact one of California Career Institute’s specialists for free information.