If you go by numbers, it may be correct that there is not a shortage, but, if you count the bedside nurses, I would say that there is a severe shortage. I have a friend that is a Master's Degree nurse, and she told me that what happens once a person as their BSN and MSN is that there are more choices open, and what reason would a nurse who killed herself through school turn around and want to risk her license at the bedside? Therefore, she stated, many of them go into administration, supervision, research, and the patients are still suffering. I just became an LPN (not going to be an RN), and I am working in a hospital clinic, after having 2 months of med-surg. With all of the mess that I saw happening on the floor, I told myself that I may just remain a clinic nurse and leave that mess to the wind. It's not that I want to, but, as the original poster stressed, this is not the ideal world.