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Boomers Fuel Demand for Doctors, Nurses

June 29, 2010

Doctor With much attention focused on boomers’ care needs and preferences in the next 20 years, less has been said about how many of them are retiring physicians and nurses, researchers say, which will create a dearth of health-care professionals for the nation’s seniors. For example, there will be 100,000 fewer doctors in the workforce in 2020.

A Washington Post report points to research recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association as well as statistics from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania. According to recent numbers from NYU, 13 percent of newly registered nurses changed principal jobs after a year; 37 percent expressed interest in changing jobs after a year. These research results do not show shortages by field, such as geriatric nursing.

“Moving into the future, we see a very large shortage of nurses, about 300,000,” Peter Buerhaus, a nurse and health-care economist/professor at Vanderbilt University, said in a Post interview. “The future of nursing is dominated by aging baby-boomer nurses who are going to retire, and we are looking at massive shortages. Others are not picking up the retirement of physicians. There’s just not going to be as many doctors as needed out there.”

Read The Washington Post article, “Retirements by Baby-Boomer Doctors, Nurses Could Strain Overhaul.” | Go to Article

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