ANA to Address Nursing Shortage at National Convention This Week
The American Nurses Association plans to address the U.S. nursing shortage, as well as the impact of the shortage on patient safety and quality of care, at the group's annual convention this week in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The American Hospital Association reports that at least one in seven hospitals today has a "severe shortage" of nurses -- vacancies in more than 20% of their positions for registered nurses -- and according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2000, the nation will face a shortage of 434,000 nurses by 2020. A number of surveys have found that "nurses are burning out because they must care for more patients," work longer hours and "feel their salaries are inadequate," the Inquirer reports. In addition, a survey of 1,200 doctors, nurses and hospital executives published this month in the American Journal of Nursing found that "abusive doctors" have increased "workplace stress" for nurses. In the survey, more than 90% of respondents reported that they had "witnessed disruptive physician behavior," which they said prompts about two nurses to leave their hospitals each year. Cheryle MacDonald, president of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association, said, "You can't come out and say there is one particular item causing the nursing shortage," but added that disruptive physician behavior "is one of the stresses that could contribute" to the problem (Uhlman, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.