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Medical News and Perspectives
October 10, 2007

No End in Sight to Nursing Shortage

JAMA. 2007;298(14):1623-1625. doi:10.1001/jama.298.14.1623

Despite projections that the ongoing shortage of nurses could grow to more than 1 million nurses by 2020, a bottleneck at US nursing schools caused more than 42 000 qualified applicants to be turned away in 2006-2007.

With rising salaries and the promise of a bright long-term employment outlook, individuals are clamoring to enter nursing training programs. Hospitals and other health care facilities facing the prospect of a growing elder population and the simultaneous graying of the nurse workforce are eager to hire these would-be nurses. But nursing schools—pinched by a growing faculty shortage, a lack of facilities, too few clinical training placements, and limited funds—have not been able to keep pace with the demand.

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