Tragically, the situation is already responsible for an increased number of deaths at hospital throughout the nation. According to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), a ˘shortage of nursing staff nationwide is contributing to hospital deaths÷ (Nursing, 2003, 28).
Should the nursing shortage and aging nursing workforce issues challenging the healthcare system continue without resolution, patient care, families and entire communities will suffer from demands that cannot be met. As Jenkins-Clarke and Carr-Hill (2001) maintain in their study on the aging nursing workforce, ˘Workforce issues and questions of professional roles and boundaries, in the context of the graying nursing workforce, demand solutions if patient/client demand is to be met over the next two decades÷ (842). BCBS recently provided $500,000 to help research resolutions to the nursing shortage in order to help development and implement solutions to resolve it.
When looking at the nursing shortage and the graying of the nursing workforce, some demographic factors and trends help illuminate possible resolutions. There are economic, political, ethical, cultural, and social issues to be addressed to help resolve this issue. One of the biggest problems with attracting more talented individuals to a career in nursing is economic. Many individuals fail to see nursing as a rewarding career in l