The U.S. nursing shortage in 2020 might not be as severe as projected thanks to an unanticipated spike in the number of people entering the profession somewhat later in life but still early in their careers, researchers reported in Health Affairs. Although the number of people entering nursing in their early to mid-20s remains as its lowest point in 40 years, many are entering the profession in their late 20s and early 30s, according to the study. If the trend holds, the projected shortage in 2020 may shrink by 420,000 nurses to a shortage of 340,000 nurses, the study found. Peter Buerhaus, director of Vanderbilt Universitys Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies, said the results underscore the success of recent efforts to recruit nurses, but that demand for RNs remains significant. The shortage is no longer a Category 5 (storm). Its a Category 4 and its stalled offshore, Buerhaus said. Read the abstract. -- by Melanie Evans
Projected nursing shortage may ease
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