AHCA to Congress: More long-term care nurses needed

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AHCA to Congress: More long-term care nurses needed
AHCA to Congress: More long-term care nurses needed
Congress should enact reforms that bolster the long-term care workforce and help address the nursing shortage, the American Health Care Association told lawmakers Monday.

In a letter to Congress, the largest nursing home association in the nation cited figures from its recently released 2007 Nursing Position Vacancy and Turnover Study, which finds at least 110,000 vacant nursing positions across the country. That translates to a vacancy in roughly one out of every six full-time registered nursing positions, according to AHCA. In his letter, AHCA President and CEO Bruce Yarwood pointed out that 77 million retiring baby boomers would only create more demand for nurses, especially in the long-term care field.

One of AHCA's primary suggestions is to increase funding for nurse training programs. A recent report from the Institute of Medicine says that new nurse education, recruitment and retention tools will be needed to prepare for the coming elderly demographic explosion.