National Nurses Week celebrated nurses nationwide earlier in May, and nurses at Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services make a major difference in their patients’ lives, in the care and compassion that they provide.
Patients and their families have complimented our nurses for their care, and we always want to continue to provide that kind of exceptional care for our patients. But an increasing shortage of nurses in the coming years may make maintaining that kind of care for our home care and hospice patients more challenging.
The shortage of nurses in the three states Liberty serves – North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia – continues to grow. Between the three states, there is a shortage approaching 25,000 nurses. As sobering as that statistic is, the shortage is expected to grow in the next 10 years. In fact, one of every five jobs created in 2012 has been from the health care field, including nurses.
We need to encourage more people to consider the nursing industry, as our population continues to age. But how can it be done? Liberty offers an Educational Assistance Program that has aided some employees.
Capital grants can also aid nursing schools, as can the Nurse Education, Expansion and Development Act. That federal act would give grants to nursing schools to increase the number of nursing faculty and students. State legislation can also help improve opportunities for future nurses, and relieve some of the expected shortage.
Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services aggressively recruits the top nurses in our coverage area. We know how vital they are to our patients’ care. We hope that these suggested measures and others can help make a difference, so all patients get the kind of care they deserve.