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Statistics: Nurses Perception of Shortage            Why Nurses leave the Bedside; An RN's Perspective

"1. Virtually all registered nurses (RNs) in the United States believe that there is a nursing shortage, and the vast majority have witnessed its effects firsthand. Most RNs also report that staffing problems at the place where they work have gotten worse in the past year. (Table ES-1)

* Virtually all (95%) RNs who currently work as nurses agree that there is a nursing shortage. An overwhelming majority (88%) believes that in their community, the supply of registered nurses working in patient care settings is less than the demand. 

* In the past year, at least two out of three working RNs have observed an increase in the turnover of experienced nurses (72%), a greater number of patients per nurse (68%), and increases in overtime or double shifts for nurses (66%). Most (57%) have also witnessed increases in the use of agency, internal float pool, or traveling nurses. At least six out of ten of all RNs think that the following would help a "great deal" to solve the nursing shortage:
Improved working environments (83%)
Improved wages and benefits (79%)
Higher status of nurses in the hospital environment (70%)
Better hours (58%)...
Among respondents who plan to leave their present nursing position within the next three years:
A majority (58%) say that higher salary or benefits would be "very likely" to cause them to reconsider their plans to leave their current position.
Virtually half say that better staffing (50%) and more respect from management (48%) would be very likely to cause them to reconsider. "  The NurseWeek/AONE Survey of Registered Nurses conducted from Oct. 24, 2001, through March 13, 2002

"Thousands of nurses--7,560, to be exact--completed the AJN Patient Care Survey, which was published in the March 1996 issue of AJN. It's the largest survey of nurses' views on health care and nursing practice ever conducted. Nurses responded from every state and territory in the United States and represented a wide range of positions and specialties. Your participation, and your detailed comments describing conditions in your workplace, have given us the best picture to date of what's happening in the U.S. health care system and in your practice. It's a picture with some commonalties. Nurses across the nation, in every setting and specialty, report that they're taking care of more patients, have been cross-trained to take on more nursing responsibilities, and have substantially less time to provide all aspects of nursing care. But it's also a picture noteworthy for the differences--across regions of the country, settings, specialties, and positions."
access this page to see what we were saying in 1996
From Frontline
Pt Care Survey