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Shortage of Nurses Reaches Critical Stage in Iowa


This news story was published on December 19, 2016.
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There isn’t a state in the nation that isn’t facing a shortage of medical personnel across the board, but Iowa has been especially hard hit. News for the past several years has gone from bad to worse and when Iowa newspapers and online journals are saying that the shortage is ‘serious,’ what they really mean is critical. There are a number of reasons why nurses are in short supply but perhaps if healthcare itself was fixed, more young people would be interested in entering the medical profession.

What started out as a bad situation 8 years ago has gotten progressively worse because of Obamacare, and once that is ‘fixed’ there is every likelihood that we will see an influx of nursing and medical students entering the arena again. Here is some of what ails Iowa and the rest of the nation as well.

First, a Look at Obamacare

Without whipping a dead horse, there is no denying that the Affordable Care Act, ACA, was a complete failure. Not only is healthcare still beyond the reach of the average working person due to high deductibles and co-pays, there is a cap on what can be paid for services which means nurses and doctors have had to stay stagnant in earnings and in some cases, they have taken a cut in pay – a very BIG cut in pay. Fix that and you’ll get more interest in the profession. Major universities will see a rise in the number of applicants to nursing programs; it’s almost a guarantee.

An Aging Population

One of the real shortages in nursing is in MSN administration. As Boomers are reaching their senior years, there is a much bigger portion of the population that needs ongoing medical treatment in facilities as well as at home. There simply aren’t enough nurses and home healthcare agencies to care for an aging population of this size. It would be a wise investment in the future of any nurse to take an RN to MSN online degree course of study. Once complete, it would be possible to step into an administrative position to begin working on making changes so necessary to provide the amount and type of care needed at this point in time. Only a nurse knows how to juggle nurses’ schedules so that the floor is covered and that’s why there is a real need for nurse administrators.

Rural Populations Not Being Served

One of the ‘fixes’ the new administration could look at once the power is handed over in Washington would be how to incentivize nurses and doctors to practice in rural areas. Iowa has a huge portion of the country that is rural and lacking adequate healthcare. Whether offering scholarships and grants to students who would contract to work two or more years in rural areas or offering government stipends once they were licensed, something needs to be done to provide care in areas where hospitals and doctors are few and far between.

Although Iowans are facing a critical shortage in nurses at this time, the problem goes well beyond the borders of this state. The entire country is plagued by this shortage and so it has become critical everywhere. Fix healthcare and the shortage should start to rectify itself. January can’t come soon enough.

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2 Responses to Shortage of Nurses Reaches Critical Stage in Iowa

  1. Avatar

    bodacious Reply Report comment

    January 4, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I do agree with Anonymous that nurses are understaffed, underpaid and underappreciated in our country. I have a friend who is a nurse in Des Moines who has told me the same thing. The hospital where she works typically gives each nurse any where from 6-9 patients per shift. She has said she never sits down and cannot give each patient the time or attention deserved.
    I do where the information for this article came from. Blaming the nursing shortage on the ACA smacks of conservative web site. Most of the articles I have read state that the biggest problem is the number of patients not how much they pay. They say the problem is the baby boomers finally reaching ‘old age’. There are so many of us (I am a BB) that the hospitals can’t keep up.

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Most of the the new nurses hired quit after a short time. The day shift is Overworked and underpaid.It takes a special person that wants to help and look after their patients and not just do the minimum.They rather work at a nursing home. Ever been to a hospital and see a few nurses hanging out at the front desk.The good ones are always on the go.