I feel that the nursing shortage is concentrated in certain areas at this time. Experienced nurses are leaving the acute care areas mostly for a greater piece of mind, perceivably better opportunities in other types of settings or work, and/or more pay. Lack of respect within and without nursing is nothing new, so I feel that this contributes only mildly to the nursing shortage. I think that the increased aging, unhealthiness, and consumer mindedness of the U.S. population has a great deal of impact on the supply and demand of nurses and other health care practitioners. Also, this country is, by and large, predominated by baby boomers who whether they are poor, not so poor, or wealthy, are fickle, demanding, and exploitative. I feel that this is what has led health care to become an industry instead of a ministry. Therefore, we're going to experience a nursing crunches until the boomers (and possibly the Gen Xers) reach the point where they run completely out of steam. FYI, I am categorized as being in the sandwich generation although some may consider me a young boomer.
[This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited March 13, 2000).]