Aging and Retirements Threaten RN Talent Pool Amid COVID

The field of nursing is facing challenges never seen before.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, industry experts were expecting nurses to be in high demand due to high levels of retirement, burnout among nurses, and low numbers of graduating nurses every year. However, the details around each of these problems are becoming more and more clear, and we will need to be increasingly flexible and creative in terms of our broader solutions.

As the Baby Boomer population continues to retire, more strain will be put upon our healthcare systems. Right now, there are 76.4 million Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. As these Baby Boomers age, there will be an increase in chronic health issues, which require ongoing medical treatment and attention. And many members of this rapidly retiring generation are nurses -- more than half a million nurses are expected to retire by 2022. Nurses aren't graduating quickly enough to offset these retirements either. The average age of nurses is rising, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that 1.1 million new RNs will be needed to offset retiring nurses, a number that won't be reached by nursing school graduates alone. We will need to find other solutions to maintain the health and well-being of our society beyond American nursing school graduates. Many hospitals and health systems are already exploring their options. One of the most effective ways of offsetting these retirements is hiring international nurses. Currently, about 16 percent of all working nurses are foreign-born. Foreign-born nurses don't just help American communities -- they are able to relay the knowledge that they gain in American facilities to their communities and also educate American nurses on how to approach cultural challenges that are outside of their realm of expertise.

During this uncertain time, we need to remember that we're all in this together. We're all working together to fight this virus, and these ongoing healthcare issues will continue to challenge healthcare leaders for years. For more information on how PassportUSA can help your facility, click below:

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PUBLISHED
June 30, 2020
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