Economic crisis eases nursing shortage--but relief seen as temporary

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Recent reports indicate that the current economic crisis has temporarily alleviated the nationwide nursing shortage.

Nurses across the country are putting off retirement or even resuming the practice in order to survive the economic hardships facing Americans these days, according to a recent article in The Washington Post. Only acute-care and emergency room nurses are still in great demand, while many other departments are reporting very few openings, reports the Post.

But once the recession begins to ease, nurse levels are expected to drop significantly, leaving the healthcare industry with possibly an even greater shortage of nurses than before, according to the Post. Experts are still projecting a shortage of up to 275,000 nurses for 2010, and as many as one million by 2020. In January, lawmakers introduced the Retooling the Health Care Workforce for an Aging America Act, which would offer more educational and training opportunities for healthcare workers in long-term care and gerontology.