It was estimated a few years ago that by 2008, the US will need 450,000 additional nurses. However, enrollments to nursing schools are declining and fewer people are entering this noble profession. A survey conducted in 2007 states that 20 percent of currently employed nurses will retire from nursing in the next 5 years. The question that everyone is asking is whether there is a mandatory retirement age for nurses that is leading to a shortage? The answer to this question is no. There is no mandatory retirement age for nurses but many nurses retire because of the high stress levels.
Many nurses are unhappy with certain aspects of their work environment which include staffing levels, heavy workload, increased use of overtime, lack of sufficient support staff and inadequate wages. All these factors are playing a major role in affecting their decision to remain in nursing.
Just a few years ago nurses used to retire at the normal age of 65 but now most nurses are leaving the profession by the time they are in their 30s. Many say that they are burned out and do not wish to continue and they would not recommend this high-stress profession to family and friends.
It is indeed a grim scenario for American hospitals and it has nothing to do with mandatory retirement age for nurses.
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