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Who Will Take Care of the Baby Boomers? November 27, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Insurance, Health Quote of the Week, Money.
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Yesterday, I heard a great hour of radio on the nursing shortage produced by WBUR in Boston. It’s called Nursing a Shortage , part of their Inside Out series. There are two structural problems on the supply side of nursing-one is baby boomer nurses retiring at the same time as their peers. I knew that part, but what I didn’t know about was the second one-the serious shortage of nursing educators.

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. Nurses themselves, whose average age now is 47, will be leaving the profession and a younger generation of nurses will not be trained in enough numbers to fill the growing needs of hospitals and patients.

Who will take care of patients? Apparently all it will take is about a billion dollars to increase the student slots in nursing schools and hire additional educators to educate the needed students. Is there a national plan for that?

A billion dollars is beginning to sound very small.

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