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Innovative Ways to Deal with Nursing Shortages

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If you’re involved in the nursing community, you’ve likely heard that in the next few years the demand for nurses is going to grow significantly. While the number of people getting involved in the nursing field is expected to continue climbing over the next 10 years, the demand for health care may outpace the supply of nurses. These shortages are likely to be felt hardest in regions of the U.S. where fewer nurses are located while the population is growing.

In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked registered nurses as one of the top careers that would experience employment opportunities based on growth or demand by the year 2022. The BLS expected the number of RNs employed in the U.S. to jump from 2.7 million in 2012 to 3.2 million in 2022, with about 1 million job openings for RNs based on demand.

Health care demand will rise as the population grows in age and number and become more insured. While this increased demand means that RNs are virtually guaranteed employment somewhere in the U.S., how can nurses make the most out of this situation? What should you do if you’re an RN who wants to take this expected shortage as an opportunity? Try one of these three innovative tips for dealing with shortages.

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1. Earn your MSN
Getting your Master of Science in Nursing will allow you to make yourself an even more valuable resource. Whether as a managerial nurse or specialist, the more skilled you are, the more in demand you will be. Additionally, to address the nursing shortage, there is a variety of legislation that has been passed or discussed to help RNs pay for an MSN or Ph.D. Check if your state can help you pay for graduate school.

2. Be open to moving
If you’re looking to move forward in your career, changing your zip code may be the easiest way to do it. The nursing shortage has created many health care facilities in small cities, growing communities and rural areas that need more nurses.

3. Establish yourself as a leader
As demand for healthcare rises, so does the need for efficiency and good leadership. As HealthCareITNews explained, there will be an influx of diverse multigenerational nursing forces that have to work together quickly. Establish yourself as someone who can manage personalities, be sensitive to diversity and deliver quality care throughout.

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