There has been a severe shortage of nurses in the USA since 2012, and it worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Hospital Association has estimated that they need to hire 200,000 nurses a year to meet the rising demand. There are a lot of reasons for this shortage, some of them are being burned out from work because of being overworked and this is one of the main reasons that nurses leave their jobs at an accelerating rate. Next is patients having chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer that leads to nurses needing to stay more hours in their workplace. And the nation's inability to produce enough nurses mainly because of the lack of faculty at nursing and medical schools. The low compensation of nurses and CNAs are also a big factor in this shortage of staff. And the large contingent of nurses who will be retiring due to age.
McKinsey predicts the US could see a shortfall of 200,000 to 450,000 Registered Nurses for direct patients in 2025. In their recent survey conducted to 368 frontline nurses, about 31% of RN respondents were likely to leave their current jobs in direct patient care.
McKinsey also asked the respondents for their reasons to quit their jobs and these three are their main reasons:
On top of the shortage, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that the desire of students to take up nursing-related degrees is decreasing. In their 2022 survey, students enrolling in Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs has dropped by 1.4% that means 3,518 fewer students chose nursing from 2021 to 2022. Moreover, 78,191 qualified applicants were denied admission to nursing schools all over the country because of the shortage of nursing faculties, budget constraints, and a lack of suitable training facilities.
In line with this rising shortage of nurses in the country, the U.S Department of State released a Visa Bulletin last August 2023. Due to the retrogression last May, it was expected that dates weren’t going to move forward until October and some dates were also expected to move back.
These retrogressions will delay the arrival of nursing candidates to U.S. facilities in need, adding to the nursing shortage. This means that the solution of hiring immigrant nurses we need to help with the shortage slows down.