Study: One-Third of Hospitalized Patients Said Nurses "Weren't Available"
However, according to an NPR report, the findings are indicative not of a nurse shortage across the country, but of a shortage of nursing care within hospitals and other healthcare facilities. There was a nursing job shortage nearly a decade ago, but that is no longer the case, said Linda Aiken, a researcher and professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The number of RNs graduating has increased dramatically over the past decade, but many can't find jobs, she said.
The one-third of patients in the study who felt that nurses were unavailable may instead be attributed to the financial challenges faced by healthcare facilities, said Nancy Foster, a vice president with the American Hospital Association. "In part, it's because our patients are sicker — coming to us with more intense diseases and disorders than they did 25 years ago," she said. "In part, it's because there's so many more medications and devices and other interventions at our fingertips; we can help many more patients and restore them to health."
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