A Critical Shortage of Nurses – Care Example

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"A Critical Shortage of Nurses" is a well-written example of a paper on care. The nursing shortage has increased in the US over the years. About 8.5 percent of the total positions of nursing in the US are unoccupied. This percentage is expected to see a three-fold increase till the year 2020 with the retirement of 80 million baby boomers and the ever-increasing number of those in need of care. Administrators of the health care centers and the advocates of nurses are reporting a staffing crisis after the tenth year of the consistent nursing shortage.

The US is not only suffering from a lack of nurses, but also a lack of nursing faculty. Factors that have caused this shortage include but are not limited to the lack of attainment of the advanced degrees by the nurses, low wages, and lack of training (Klocke). One reason that explains the consistent shortage of nursing in the US is their underpayment. Nurses in the US are paid lesser than the people associated with other professions. Between the years 2006 and 2007, there happened no more than 1.34 percent of the increase in the wages of the registered nurses.

There are a lot of reasons behind this that include but are not limited to the reimbursement policies of the insurance companies, cost control in the health care centers, and the recruitment of foreign nurses in the hospitals in the US. With more and more foreign nurses occupying the positions meant for the American nurses, hospitals are cutting the costs by getting the service for lower wages than the American nurses would claim. Registered nurses in the US get below $58000 per year on average.

This is a fairly low wage when compared with the average annual wage of $36300 of all professions in the US. Not many American nurses are content with this wage and many lack the motivation to continue with the profession even if they are already into it. “ There are 500,000 registered nurses who are not practicing their profession— fully one-fifth of the current [registered nurses] RN workforce of 2.5 million and enough to fill current vacancies twice over” (Herbst 2). Underpayment of nurses in the US seems to solve the problem of nursing shortage temporarily, yet this is laying the basis of a lot of problems that would show up in the long run.

Thus, the profession is not paying enough to motivate the American people to join it. Other issues that have caused a shortage of nurses in the US include the complexities of the working conditions in the hospitals and the consequential lack of motivation for qualified people to become nurses. The situation of nurses in the US is indicative of the effect of labor markets on globalization.

Labor markets have risen above the local or national constraints with more integration of the cultures and the evolution of technology. Supply and demand in the present age work differently from the way they did before. Supplies from one market cannot increase the prices to correct the shortages in another market.


Herbst, Moira. “A Critical Shortage of Nurses.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 28 Aug. 2007. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. .

Klocke, Evelyn M. “Nursing faculty shortage nurses' perceptions as a key to administrative solutions.” ProQuest. 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.

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