Viewpoint: Nursing shortage solutions begin with valuing nurses more

Addressing the nursing shortage, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19, begins with acknowledging how much nurses have been undervalued, Leana Wen, MD, wrote for The Washington Post Sept. 28.

"The nursing shortage is not primarily a pipeline problem," Patricia Pittman, PhD, professor of health workforce equity at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University, told Dr. Wen. "What we have is a leaky bucket."

Some key initiatives for nurse retention are: increased wages, improved working conditions and reduced barriers for reentry into the workforce for those who have left. 

"Importantly, hospitals need to take a hard look at their own staffing models so that the nursing staff do not always feel overwhelmed and overworked," Dr. Wen wrote.

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