November 21, 2023
If you ask nurses and hospital administrators about the state of nurse staffing, both will tell you that there are not enough nurses currently working the bedside.
But that’s about the only thing they can agree on.
From the cause of the problem, to how to fix it or what to name it — hospitals label it a “nursing shortage,” while unions and advocates call it a “safe staffing” failure — labor and management are at odds about the particulars of the nation’s staffing crisis.
Hospitals say they are doing their best to hire, but that there aren’t enough accredited nurses available. The American Hospital Association said it expected to lose half a million nurses by the end of 2022, creating a total shortage of 1.1 million nurses nationwide.