Pandemic is worsening U.S. nursing shortage
Nurses across the United States are working through a nursing shortage made worse by the Covid pandemic.
Nurses from the Baby Boomer generation have been expectedly aging out of the profession, but the pandemic has widened staffing gaps in the nursing industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects nursing employment to grow by 9% until the year 2030. But that still takes into account almost 200,000 nursing employment openings on a yearly basis.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of nurses didn’t leave their jobs because of the uncertainty,” Karen Mitchell, chief nursing officer at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, told 13 News Now. She thinks the rise in resignations and transfers are due to a backlog from last year.
The shortage has also created more difficult working conditions for nurses who have stayed, with stress and burnout eroding their usual resiliency. Now, Mitchell says even managers and directors must fill in the staffing holes.
The pandemic has pushed many more nurses to resign, seek positions outside of frontline care, or leave nursing altogether, according to Janet Wall, chief executive officer of the Virginia Nurses Association.
According to recent a recent VNA survey, four of every 10 nurses in Virginia are thinking about leaving the bedside to go somewhere else or leaving nursing altogether.
Wall also said the number of registered nurses is larger than nurses that are employed, a sign that not all of those eligible to work are currently practicing.