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May 29, 1967

285,000 Inactive Registered Nurses Could Turn the Tide

JAMA. 1967;200(9):779-780. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120220081014

A hidden reservoir of nurse power may be in your community; it could be the solution to the problem of nurse shortage. The basic education of a registered nurse takes two to four years, but only four to six weeks are required to reactivate a previously prepared nurse. Many inactive nurses are eager to return to work but hesitate because they do not possess the current knowledge, skill, or self-assurance required for nursing practice today. Some of the younger inactive registered nurses have small children—an additional barrier.

One solution is to establish a sound continuing refresher course program and, where needed, a good daycare center for preschool children.

Expanding facilities and services will require more nurses who are willing to work part time or full time in various environments to meet the growing need for continuity of patient care. The enlarged scope and variety of work opportunities provide a real