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Nursing shortage: not a simple problem - no easy answers.

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American Nurses Association, Washington, DC, USA.


The article examines the issue of nursing workforce planning within the present health system environment and addresses ethical issues related to the shortage. Numerous factors are influencing both the supply of registered nurses as well as the demand for nursing services. Of particular concern is the negative impact that the current nursing practice environment is having on the retention of registered nurses as well as the ability of the profession to recruit students. Other factors driving this present nursing shortage include the increasing age of working nurses and the potential for retirement; the aging of nursing faculty impacting the capacity of nursing schools; and poor wage compensation. The continual swing in the supply of and demand for nursing services will always be present; however, it is time that nursing sat at the policy-making table with the other decision makers to better anticipate the nature of these changes and how to address them.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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