May 22, 2020

US Must Produce 11 Million RNs by 2022 to Avoid Shortage

The hunt for nursing talent is only expected to intensify. According to the American Nurses Association, the United States will still need one million nurses by the year 2022. That's problematic in a healthcare ecosystem that's already experiencing a massive nursing shortage. And while recruitment efforts have increased, the truth is, there just aren't enough nurses in the country to satisfy demand.This isn't the first time the nation's�been starved for nursing talent. Back in 1943, the United States subsidized the development of new nurses via the Bolton Act. As of today, there's no pending legislation and there's no Cadet Nurse Corp. Hospitals are tasked with recruiting nurses with clinical experience while many experienced nurses are either reaching the age of retirement or leaving the profession all together."We do require that the staff member has clinical experience and that's one of the challenges I think in the field of nursing," said Director of Business Development Jane Russo, to Maya Holmes of, a local news�station in California. Ms. Russo works for The Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice in Salinas, CA.But experience is just the tip of the iceberg. Many domestic nurses in the US can become a nurse in just two years by completing an associates in nursing, but even that's become problematic. According to the Institute of Medicine, 80 percent of nurses will need a BSN by 2020.According to Russo, The Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice has enacted the same strategy to find and recruit qualified nurses as many other hospitals across the country.�"Really strong employee benefits is a really strong hiring piece," Russo said in the above article. That's pretty common, along with hefty sign-on and retention bonuses.

But where are all the nurses, and how is there such a massive nursing shortage?

There are several answers to this question. The Silver Tsunami is a good place to start.�"We, the baby boomers, of even my age are retiring within the next 10-15 years,� said Registered Nurse Diane Martin to Kion News. So we're going to need replacements for all those nurses."But there are other factors. Because of the lack of nurses, hospitals are obviously short-staffed and being short-staffed has serious ramifications. The two most important ones are the unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios that have statistically resulted in poor patient outcomes, and the burnout that's happening as nurses leave the profession�in response to worsening conditions. Doctor Thomas Paine, a contributor at, wrote the following about his experience in the ER:

In almost a decade at my current job in a busy suburban ED, I have watched countless talented and experienced ER nurses come and go.� At first, I asked them why they were leaving.� Now, I ask them why they stayed as long as they did.� Over the years, our ED has seen a drastic increase in acuity, a steady increase in volume, and a decrease in staffing levels.� Is it any wonder that nurses leave after a few years in that environment?

So what is the endgame? What's the solution to this personnel paradox? Hospitals can partner with local nursing schools, they can offer�hefty sign-on and retention bonuses, they can offer the most competitive benefits package, but that doesn't solve their staffing issues right now. Therefore, administrators and hiring managers�must get creative.The answer may lie overseas. International healthcare talent has rapidly grown in popularity as more CNO's and other decision-makers discover how useful these professionals really are. For starters, virtually all foreign-trained nurses arrive to the United States with a bachelor's in nursing. Furthermore, unlike travel nursing, which is typically a useful short-term solution, international talent is a long-term solution.For example, PassportUSA has a full-time conversion rate over 80 percent. According to abundant client feedback, these international nurses rank high in areas like:

  • flexibility
  • arttitude
  • cooperation
  • teamwork
  • personal appearance
  • attendance
  • bedside manner

But there are numerous reasons why international talent is a viable staffing option.�Request to speak with a PassportUSA business development team member to get the facts you need to determine if international healthcare talent is a fit for your organization.

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