Nurse hirings up between 2001 and 2003, study says

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The number of nurses hired at hospitals and other healthcare facilities between 2001 and 2003 jumped to nearly 205,000, one of the largest nurse-hiring spikes since before Medicare was implemented in 1965, according to a recent survey.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing analyzing data from a Census Bureau employment survey also found that nurses age 50 and older accounted for 63% of those hired during the two-year period. In addition, hiring of nurses age 50 and older increased at an average annual rate of about 20% between 2001 and 2003.

However, the study report published in the Wall Street Journal suggests that the nursing shortage in this country remains "far from resolved. Researchers cite increasing numbers of retiring nurses and the aging baby boomer population as likely threats to the shortage of nurses in the coming decades.

The demand for registered nurses is expected to increase to 2.8 million by 2020 from, 2 million in 2000, according to statistics from the Bureau of Health Professions.

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