Within a decade, the healthcare profession will be challenged by a shortage of qualified nurses to provide vital medical care to patients. By the year 2020, the nursing shortage is expected to peak, causing a healthcare crisis during a time when the Baby Boomer generation will need quality healthcare the most. This nursing shortage is far-reaching and affects Boomers and other populations alike, from senior citizens to premature infants.
Compounding the problem is the fact that nursing colleges and universities across the country are struggling to expand enrollment levels to meet the rising demand for nursing care. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is concerned about the shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) and is working with schools, policy makers, kindred organizations, and the media to bring attention to this health care crisis.
A primary concern for Nursing Schools is the lack of nurse educators available to teach nursing candidates. According to AACN’s report on, 2009 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 54,991 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2009 due to insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints. Almost three quarters (61.4%) of the nursing schools responding to the 2006 survey pointed to faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into entry-level nursing programs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has noted the increase in the nursing and medical profession as above average, citing its recent job growth despite the recession. In response to this issue, nursing schools, colleges and universities are turning to the Internet at an astounding rate to provide top-rate nursing education to students. These online programs are offered to all students, and especially benefit those that are currently employed in the medical field and wish to pursue an advanced degree in nursing or other professionals that are considering a career change.
As the population ages and more people are in need of medical care and assistance, nurses will constantly find their career options evolving and changing. By pursuing a degree at an online nursing school, the possibilities for a satisfying and rewarding career are numerous, and the potential for lifelong job satisfaction, endless.