OK, I'll go first:
I believe there is a shortage of bedside nurses, and I believe we've always had a shortage of (licensed) bedside nurses.
The current shortage was artificially created when diploma schools
closed and nursing students were no longer used for bedside care.
Hospitals and healthcare became big-business. HMO's took over the system, redefining the nurse's role in the hospital setting. We didn't put up a fuss; we too wanted what was "best for the patient." We martyred ourselves to the nobler cause--and lost important professional headway. Big mistake.
Other career options opened and women traded up the ladder for more money, better perks, and more prestige without the inconvenience of un-family-friendly shift work, exposure to dangerous diseases and patients, low pay, no retirement, few perks, and exhausting physical labor.
I see the shortage as a continuing crisis because I remember back in the '60's when there was a similar crisis-- the "teacher shortage." Yes, there was. But school districts didn't expand the budget nor hire teachers to reduce classroom size. Teachers still don't get paid much for what they do, though unlike nurses, they have a strong union, and I predict the same will happen to nurses.