Nurse shortages have been HISTORICALLY cyclical in nursing. They are a fact. Now at times, the cycles shift and we even have a sufficient supply but sooner or later, we return to shortage. The big gap in supply vs demand is currently seated in the aging baby boomers PLUS a multiplicity of other factors.
At any time in HISTORY, I would wager, the nursing shortage could be solved with all licensed but unemployed nurses returning to work in the area of shortage. this also is a long term trend. There historically have been licensed nurses who don't work for a variety of reasons.
Nursing attracts caring individuals (by and large) BUT is always hampered by the demand of 24 hour care. For many of us, the chasm between nights, weekends and evenings AND family demands is too big to be bridged.
Burn out or caregiver fatigue is a factor.
Nurses being hired in so many differnt venues is a factor: schools
, education, home health...etc.
Other opportunities for women. At one time, the women's professions were Teaching or Nursing. Now women have way more choices than that and they exercise them.
This is a parial listing of issues.
I also think that hospitals and insurors evidencing a greater than ever "factory" mentality contributes to burn out. Less and less is nursing and health care seen as a caring endeavor. More often it is seen as a production endeavor and the constant idea is to INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY--ie each person does as much as humanly/inhumanely possible. Profit is king.
Again, nursing has been very good to me and I would never discourage anyone from entering the field but my caveat would always be GO BSN to maximize your lifetime choices.