If you were going to make a list of the world’s most difficult – and most essential – jobs, nurses would be at the top of most people’s lists. Long hours, difficult working conditions, high stress and people’s lives quite literally in one’s hands – not everyone is cut out for the nursing profession, even under the best of circumstances. With the healthcare system struggling to keep up with a global pandemic run amok, healthcare union busting and a legacy of budget cuts, working conditions for nurses have deteriorated. Small wonder then, that nurses who can are retiring in droves, exacerbating staffing shortages everywhere. Add to that the expanding health demands of a rapidly aging population, and demand for nursing staff has never been higher. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the U.S. will need more than a million more nurses to meet demand by 2030. In such an environment, you would expect nursing schools to be overflowing with new recruits. Not so, says Rayna LeTourneau, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of South Florida and founder of WIRES Wellness, Intervention, Resources, Education and Support.
1918 Red Cross recruitment poster
Carl Rakeman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons