Nurses are integral to our nation’s health care system. They treat, educate and support patients and their families while assisting doctors with essential tasks, providing a unique set of skills. Yet unfortunately, we are in the midst of a nursing shortage that is projected to intensify in the coming years. There are several reasons for this shortage including increased nursing demand due to an aging population, a shortage in nursing students, and a shortage in nursing school faculty.
This shortage has led to insufficient nursing staff in certain health care settings, leading to high on-the-job stress, which exacerbates the problem by creating high turnover in the nursing profession. It can also affect patient health outcomes. The nursing shortage is felt in nearly every community, but rural communities face significant challenges recruiting and compensating prospective nurses.