U.S. healthcare system pinched by nursing shortage
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. healthcare system is pinched by a persistent nursing shortage that threatens the quality of patient care even as tens of thousands of people are turned away from nursing schools, according to experts.
The shortage has drawn the attention of President Barack Obama. During a White House meeting on Thursday to promote his promised healthcare system overhaul, Obama expressed alarm over the notion that the United States might have to import trained foreign nurses because so many U.S. nursing jobs are unfilled.
Democratic U.S. Representative Lois Capps, a former school nurse, said meaningful healthcare overhaul cannot occur without fixing the nursing shortage. "Nurses deliver healthcare," Capps said in a telephone interview.