Americans are living longer. Baby boomers are thriving in their older years. They are healthier, care more about their health, and know that their medical care is important to a higher quality of life. A doctor’s visit, medical procedures and even dietary plans are part of their regular routines. This has caused a nursing shortage in the US.
This aging sector of the population continues to need care, and they demand specialized care for their health. If they have a heart issue, they will find the best option, not just settle for convenience. This generation also had one of the lowest birth rates in recent history, making the job pool smaller for all fields. These demands, along with the shortage, have created a bit of a crisis in healthcare.
The Next Generation
The generation after the baby boomers is disillusioned by the thought of entering the healthcare field with all the complaints, problems, low pay and seemingly negativity surrounding this field. In the past, children were encouraged to become doctors and nurses, but that is not the case as much in today’s world. The medical field is viewed by many as a thankless job where you pay and study a lot and get very little in return.
Shortage versus Specialty
Not only are there fewer nurses graduating, but there are also fewer with specialized education. Many times, this kind of education is incorporated later in the nursing career but as the shortage continues, there is simply no time for healthcare facilities to send their nurses off for a month-long training. Nurses also don’t feel the ability to take time off for their continued education. This creates that catch-22 where there is never enough time, yet also not enough highly trained nurses.
Many nurses are taking their time to gain certifications. Those with specialized educations are taking several years to complete their education, ensuring they have all the degrees and titles they can before beginning the work. This means they are starting as a nurse, a bit later in their lives. They want to start with all the degrees, not jump in with a 2-year degree, as many did in the past.
Now is a great time to consider nursing. Find other nurses and get their opinion on how to proceed if you are interested. Try connecting with working nurses online and in apps like Nurse Backpack. Download the Nurse Backpack app that helps you stay organized while tracking all your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.