The Four Forces That Will Reshape Nursing
Right now, America has a knowledge shortage, not a nursing shortage, says nursing expert and health care economist Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN. In an interview with Hospitals & Health Networks, Buerhaus, a health care economist and professor of nursing, offers insights on what it means to have experienced nurses retiring at the same time the country faces a growing need for primary care. He outlines the four social and health care forces that will drive major changes in the nursing profession:
- the retirement of one-third of the nursing workforce over the next 10 years
- the retirement of 70 million baby boomers, many of whom will have multiple chronic and degenerative conditions
- health care reform
- the physician shortage
Combined, these forces mean that nurses will play a larger role in preventive care and patient education as health care reform moves care out of hospitals.
In this Q&A, the director of Montana State University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce talks of ways the nursing profession, hospital leaders, and legislators at the state and national levels can make the best use of the nursing workforce.