June 30, 2020

How Will the Aging Population Affect the Nursing Shortage?

The largest generation in America is growing older. Data shows that by the year 2030, all Baby Boomers will be at least 70 years old. This generation has been the backbone of America for the past 50 years -- and now we need to examine what will happen once they reach retirement age. Many things are unknown, but they will certainly put stress on healthcare systems across the nation as they begin to require chronic or acute care at a higher rate per capita.One of the first effects of this aging population will be an increase in demand for patient care. With advances in modern medicine, people over the age of 70 are able to live longer through chronic conditions, and older citizens are often living with multiple chronic conditions. As the baby boomer generation ages, they will require increased patient care to manage these conditions. With an already short-staffed nursing workforce across the country, this will strain healthcare systems nationwide.The added wrinkle is that a large portion of the nursing workforce is made up of baby boomers. As we've reported in previous articles, it's expected that a million nurses could retire by 2030. And with the rate that new nurses are graduating from colleges and associate programs, this oncoming shortage will not be offset. These retirements will go into effect at the worst possible time -- the increase in patients that require care will coincide with an abrupt shortage of nursing professionals.As this aging population requires more care, and with a greater shortage of nurses than ever before, working nurses will be pushed to their limits. Facilities will face a dilemma: operate understaffed and face consequences through compliance, or mandate overtime for nurses so that the facility is not out of compliance. It's easy to see which solution will be widely adopted as the nursing shortage continues. Nurses will be pushed to work long hours, for extended periods of time. This approach risks exacerbating one of the biggest concerns of nurses and nurse leaders currently: nurse burnout.Nurse burnout has been cited as a leading issue among nurses. Our Nurse Barometer we ran over a year ago identified that among staff nurses, burnout was the leading cause of concern (ranked above retention, vacancies, and mandated overtime). Over a third of nurses experience it already. Feelings of burnout can lead to poor patient experiences and an increase in mistakes by nurses while on the job, and can ultimately lead to increased turnover. Turnover costs facilities tens of thousands of dollars per nurse, making it imperative to avoid.So how do facilities avoid feelings of burnout and increased turnover, while a huge chunk of the nursing workforce retires and the largest generation requires more acute and long-term care? Nurses aren't graduating at a high enough rate from educational institutions to offset the demands of the market, and technology can't replace the many complex tasks of nurses (yet), or the human touch they provide for patients and their families. However, PassportUSA offers a unique solution, bringing BSN-ready nurses to your facility at a lower cost than travel nurses. Want to learn more? Click below to get in touch with one of our workforce solution experts:

Explore Our International Workforce Solutions

Start Your Journey to the USA!
Stay Connected

Signup for our newsletter.

Signup for our newsletter and stay on top of all things PassportUSA!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Recent Posts