EP 494 Nurses Are in Short Supply

America has a nursing shortage’ scream the headlines.  And that’s true and will be for the foreseeable future.  Is the reason all to do with COVID?  No, but clearly it has had a dampening impact on the numbers of nurses and their perception of whether they want to stay in the field going forward.  Given that the average age of a nurse in America today is 50, for older nurses retirement has never looked so good.  Like most issues when you dig a little you find many subtleties that have far reaching implications for a beleaguered medical delivery system in a society with an aging population.  Patients who end up in hospitals today are often older, sicker and require more sophisticated care, taxing the fulcrum of the medical delivery system, the nurse, to an even greater degree.  There is no one more able in America to explain what’s happening to nursing than Professor Peter Buerhaus, himself a nurse, a Ph.D. and an expert in the economics of the nursing workforce.  By the end of this podcast you will understand the many facets of a problem that can result in care deficiencies, medication errors and fatalities if we cannot figure out a way to get more registered nurses into the field in the coming decade.