Thursday, April 12, 2007

A looming shortage - what is being done about it?

This evening while driving home from the pool where I practice rolling my kayak, I listened to WBUR, a National Public Radio station in Boston. With so much unraveling of the Bush Administration in the news, it’s been easy for me to ignore other important stories.

But this one got to me as a member at the older end of the baby boomers: a looming shortage of nurses. You can listen to or download the documentary at - The Nursing Shortage. According to the report, “America 's nursing shortage has been compared to a perfect storm gathering in intensity. In just over a decade nearly 80 million baby boomers will be in or reaching retirement, their medical needs placing an immense strain on our health care system…the demand for nurses is expected to increase by 40 percent over the next decade while the supply steadily drops.”

I won’t notice the incredible shortage of nurses until I, or someone I care about, ends up in a hospital. However, from now on I’m going to pay attention to how our country plans to deal with this major, but overlooked, problem.

(photo of Florence Nightingale from

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