Common Reasons for Nursing Shortages


Promoted Post

Nursing is a worthwhile career that allows people to care for others during some of the most vulnerable times of their lives. With many nursing specialties and an abundance of educational opportunities, you might think there are plenty of nurses to go around, but that’s no longer the case.

Many states, such as Iowa, have been experiencing nursing shortages for several years, and the pressure is on to solve this issue to limit the impact on those requiring care. Finding the solution requires identifying the problem. Here are some of the most common reasons for nursing shortages and what we can do about them.

Increasing Older Adult Population

The baby boomer population, born between 1946 and 1964, is one of the largest in American history, with approximately 21% of all American adults fitting into this generation. You might consider looking at BSN to FNP online programs to further your nursing career and help those in

need when you realize that many in this generation are at risk of age-related diseases. Due to medical advancements and broader healthcare access, this generation might also have a longer lifespan than previous generations, seeing a need for more healthcare over a longer period.


While the largest number of nurses is in the 30 to 34 age range, there is also a significant number falling within the 60 to 64-year age range, heading toward retirement. In 2019, there were over 300,000 nurses aged over 60, which means there’s a genuine risk that over 300,000 nurses will retire within the next few years, leaving vacancies that might not be filled. Iowa has been facing a nursing shortage for several years while also battling retention issues. As a result, nurses make up one of the top career fields in demand in 2022.

Healthcare Reform

Healthcare reform in the United States was a welcome relief for many people in desperate need of healthcare. More Americans were able to access care, and the Affordable Care Act meant more people met the requirements for Medicaid.

This is good news for those needing primary care, healthcare at home, and urgent care, but it identified a shortage of qualified nurses for the role in many states like Iowa. The more nurses who train to fill nursing vacancies, the better off the general public might be.

What to Do About Nursing Shortages

While many problems contribute to nursing shortages throughout the United States, there are also just as many solutions. Those passionate about caring for others might like to consider training as a nurse. Fortunately, nursing schools have been made much more accessible in recent years due to online training programs.

Leadership roles in the healthcare system might also be of value, especially as senior nurses can provide guidance for new nurses and highlight a worthwhile career path for recent graduates. Advocacy could even be helpful, with improved staffing practices and processes potentially required to make this career path a much more attractive one for people exploring their study options.

Nursing shortages are a genuine reality for many hospitals and medical facilities throughout the United States. Whether you’re a nurse ready to further your career or someone looking to enter a worthwhile field, now might be the right time to explore nursing and see where the journey takes you.