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A US Nursing Shortage Looms

Posted on May 1, 2023

Nurses are leaving the profession in increasing numbers, and if nothing is done about it, the U.S. could be looking at a shortfall of as much as 450,000 nurses by 2025, according to an analysis by McKinsey & Company. At the same time, with an aging U.S. population, patient demand is expected to rise, creating a 10-20% gap between supply and demand.

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled some nurses to take role other than in direct patient care, while others plan to leave nursing entirely. To close the anticipated workforce gap, the McKinsey report says the country would “need to more than double the number of new graduates entering and staying in the nursing workforce every year for the next three years.”

Additionally, the rates of turnover by RNs grew from 17 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2021. Of concern is that there are not enough graduating nurses to replace those who are leaving.

In 2019, approximately 80 percent of hospital CEOs counted RN shortages among their top three staffing challenges. In 2021, it was their number one overall concern. By February 2022, the clinical staff shortage directly impacted a hospital’s ability to increase patient volume, according to 84 percent of respondents. The problem is not only limited to RNs. It includes LPNs, CNAs, and advanced practice nurses.

Understaffing can lead to overwhelmed health professionals and, sadly, mistakes. Tom Duffy has recovered tens of millions of dollars for victims of medical malpractice in Philadelphia. If you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice at a Philadelphia hospital, please contact us.