Awareness of impending shortages of nurses, primary care physicians, geriatricians, and dentists and in many of the allied health professions has led to a growing consensus among policy makers that strengthening the health care workforce in the United States is an urgent need. This consensus is reflected in the creation of a National Health Workforce Commission (NHWC) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) whose mission is, among other things, to [develop] and [commission] evaluations of education and training activities to determine whether the demand for health care workers is being met,” and to [identify] barriers to improved coordination at the Federal, State, and local levels and recommend ways to address such barriers.”1 The ACA also authorizes a National Center for Workforce Analysis, as well as state and regional workforce centers, and provides funding for workforce data collection and studies. The committee believes these initiatives will prove most successful if they analyze workforce needs across the professions—as the Department of Veterans Affairs did in the 1990s (see Chapter 3)—rather than focusing on one profession at a time. Furthermore, national trend data are not granular enough by themselves to permit accurate projections of regional needs. tadalafil commercial cuba gooding less cialis after heart surgery also generic viagra online pharmacy when tadalafil green.
The urgency of the situation is masked by current economic conditions. Nursing shortages have historically eased somewhat during difficult economic times, and the past few years of financial turmoil have been no exception (Buerhaus et al., 2009). Nursing is seen as a stable profession—a rare point of security in an unsettled economy. A closer look at the data, however, shows that during the past two recessions, more than three-quarters of the increase in the employment of RNs is accounted for by women and men over age 50, and there are currently more than 900,000 nurses over age 50 in the workforce (BLS, 2009). Meanwhile, the trend from 2001 to 2008 among middle-aged RNs was actually negative, with 24,000 fewer nurses aged 35 to 49. In a hopeful sign for the future, the number of nurses under age 35 increased by 74,000. In terms of absolute numbers, however, the cohorts of younger nurses are still vastly outnumbered by their older Baby Boom colleagues. In other words, the past practice of dependence on a steady supply of older nurses to fill the gaps in the health care system will eventually fail as a strategy (Buerhaus et al., 2009). Compared with support for the role of nurses in improving quality and access, there is somewhat less evidence that expanding the care provided by nurses will result in cost savings to society at large while also improving outcomes and ensuring quality. However, the evidence base in favor of such a conclusion is growing. Compared with other models of prenatal care, for example, pregnant women who receive care led by certified nurse midwives are less likely to experience antenatal hospitalization, and their babies are more likely to have a shorter hospital stay (Hatem et al., 2008) (see Chapter 2 for a case study of care provided by certified nurse midwives at the Family Health and Birth Center in Washington, DC). Another study examining the impact of nurse staffing on value suggests that increasing the proportion of nursing hours provided by RNs without increasing total nursing hours was associated with 1.5 million fewer hospital days, nearly 60,000 fewer inpatient complications, and a 0.5 percent net reduction in costs (Needleman et al., 2006). Chapter 2 includes a case study of the Nurse–Family Partnership Program, in which front-line RNs make home visits to high-risk young mothers over a 2.5-year period. This program has demonstrated significant value, resulting in a net savings of $34,148 per family served. The program has also reduced pregnancy-induced hypertension by 32 percent, child abuse and neglect by 50 percent, emergency room visits by 35 percent, and language-related delays by 50 percent. tadalafil from lilly abroad cialis siti affidabili and each cutting tadalafil in half 20 mg. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office determined that there were few projections of the future need for primary care providers, and those that existed were substantially limited (Steinwald, 2008). Arguably, it is simpler to project the future supply of health professionals than to project future demand for their services. It is difficult to predict, for example, the pattern of increased demand for primary care after full implementation of the ACA adds 32 million newly insured people to the health care system. Will there be a short, marked spike in demand, or will the surge be of longer duration that leaves more time to adapt?
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