Concern Over Nursing Shortage Increases

MILWAUKEE -- A nursing shortage is expected to explode over the next decade.

It's estimated more than 1 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016, and right now, there aren't enough new nurses to meet the growing national demand.

Health care employers said they're scrambling to fill nursing jobs, and the problem is only going to get worse.

Nurse Tom Boschuetz is helping with a long-term national problem: will there be someone to care for your medical needs?

"It is projected that by 2025 we will have a shortage of over 500,000 nurses," said Dr. Margaret Callahan, dean of the Marquette University College of Nursing.

As natural as Boschuetz is at taking care of patients at Waukesha Memorial, Boschuetz's story is part of the story of the nursing shortage. Nursing wasn't his first choice.

"Twenty-five years ago, I graduated with a business degree, and at that time, I thought the best thing in the world was just to make money and live the American dream," Boschuetz said.

Boschuetz pursued the American dream, the dream also changed for many nurses -- overwhelmingly women -- who found a restructured health care system led to more stress, and they had new career choices.

"What we often times see in nursing statistics is that a lot of nurses leave the profession after a year or two because they're just disenchanted with the type of care they're able to provide or the resources that they have, or the lack of flexibility," said Eric Andersen of ProHealth Care.

Health care employers are responding by making nursing jobs more appealing. Read the whole article here.

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