The U.S. Nursing Shortage
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Why Is There a Nursing Shortage?
The U.S. is in the middle of a major nurse shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses are among the top occupations for anticipated job growth, set to increase from 3 million jobs in 2018 to 3.4 million jobs in 2028, a growth rate of 12 percent.
The shortage first stems from the fact that Baby Boomers are aging and increasing the country’s demand for healthcare. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. This will expand the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age.
An aging population also means more nurses are retiring and leaving vacancies behind. Since 2012, roughly 60,000 RNs have left the workforce each year. By the end of the decade more than 70,000 RNs will be retiring annually. In 2020, baby-boomer RNs will number 660,000, roughly half their peak number in 2008.
On the other end of the spectrum, not enough new nurses are coming up through the career pipeline to fill vacancies. This is due in part to a smaller younger generation, as well as retiring staff that caused U.S. nursing schools to turn away over 64,000 qualified applicants from nursing programs in the 2016-17 school year, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
At the same time, a report in the American Journal of Nursing found that insufficient staffing has resulted in overworked, stressed, and dissatisfied nurses, causing 13 percent to change jobs within a year and 37 percent to report that they “feel ready to change jobs.”
Hospitals and healthcare facilities need to act quickly to resolve these nursing shortages.
A Nursing Shortage Solution
Hospitals and healthcare facilities facing nursing shortages can turn to international recruitment as a long-term solution. This method for filling job vacancies was common practice in the early 2000s, but delays in visa processing starting in 2007 followed by the Great Recession in 2008 caused many recruitment programs to be scaled back or canceled.
Fortunately, visa processing times have improved dramatically over the past decade. International nurses can take the NCLEX RN exam at test centers throughout the world before they relocate to the U.S. This speeds up the immigration process as government policies continue to move toward using visas to intentionally bring in highly skilled professionals who will live in the U.S. permanently.
International recruitment is beneficial for U.S. healthcare employers faced with the following predicaments:
- Chronic vacancies that take months to fill
- New recruits who demand greater incentives
- Unsustainable levels of contingent staff spending
- Facility or program expansion requiring new nurses in volume
Direct Hire International Nursing Recruitment
WorldWide HealthStaff Solutions offers direct hire international nursing recruitment, providing full-time, long-term nurses who join the ranks of a healthcare employer's regular staff once they relocate to the United States. This method maximizes the healthcare employer's recruitment dollars since there are no staffing fees or markups.
WorldWide HealthStaff Solutions also tackles all the immigration logistics of nurse recruitment including sourcing and screening applicants, facilitating the hiring process, managing immigration paperwork, verifying credentialing and licensure, and coordinating the relocation process.