Nursing Shortage?

Nashville Post – July 2003 About three years ago, Wall Street healthcare analysts started to hear about a new challenge in the hospital industry – nurses increasingly in short supply. Since then, hundreds of articles have been written about the nursing shortage. Nurse staffing companies became the rage among investors. Unless you haven’t noticed, the nurse staffing “crisis” is no longer a crisis. In fact, investors may start wondering what the fuss was all about. Just like most other trends (oil at $35 a barrel going to $100, gold at $700 an ounce going to $1,000), markets and companies tend to react to dislocations in supply or demand. Nothing is constant, and drawing straight lines into the future yields the wrong conclusion about 100% of the time. Either new supply is created, or companies learn how to reduce demand. Nurse staffing is no different, and apparently the tide has turned. Bottom line: Nurse staffing companies will have trouble making Wall Street earning estimates and healthcare providers will have lower salary & benefit inflation than expected. What changed? The original problem was caused by many factors. Over the past twenty years, the nursing profession has dramatically changed. Nurses found they were …