NPR Interviews Nurses On Their Thoughts About the Future of the Industry

NPR Interviews Nurses On Their Thoughts About the Future of the Industry

NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro recently interviewed Peter Buerhaus , a nursing professor and healthcare economist at Montana State University, about the changing nursing industry. Following a previous call-in with nurses around the country to hear their thoughts about the future of the industry, Garcia-Navarro and Buerhaus discuss the concerns of working nurses.

After sharing the thoughts NPR received from nurses in Virginia, Colorado Springs, Milwaukee, and Florida, Garcia-Navarro poses the question: What does it mean for the nursing industry, and how is the job changing?

Nurses are in short supply depending where you live and it can have big consequences for patient care. Buerhaus tells NPR, “The good news is we have had a surge of people coming into nursing over the past 10 years such that we believe we’ll be able to avoid a large massive shortage of registered nurses that would cause access to care difficulties and delay care.”

However, Buerhaus also believes there could be regional nursing shortages in the near future. He is particularly concerned about shortages on both coasts, New England and the West Coast. There has been enough growth in nursing programs in the middle part of the country to offset the rate of retiring nurses, but shortages may pose more of a problem in other regions.

Garcia-Navarro also probed Buerhaus about the future of nurse practitioners who are able to fill medical roles that have opened up as the result of physician shortages. Rural areas tend to be most affected by a lack of primary care providers, but nurse practitioners are more likely to work in rural areas which is already making a difference for underserved populations.

To read the full transcript or listen to the podcast to hear more about nurses’ thoughts on the future of the industry, visit here.