Nursing Workforce:

Multiple Factors Create Nurse Recruitment and Retention Problems

GAO-01-912T: Published: Jun 27, 2001. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2001.

Additional Materials:


Janet Heinrich
(202) 512-7250


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Health care providers' difficulties in recruiting and retaining nurses may worsen as the demand for nurses rises with the aging of the population. Demographic changes are widening the gap between the numbers of people needing care and available caregivers. Moreover, the current high levels of job dissatisfaction among nurses because of management decisions to restructure health care delivery and staffing may play a crucial role in the extent of future nurse shortages. Efforts to improve the workplace environment may reduce the likelihood that nurses will leave or consider leaving the profession. More data on the exact scope and nature of the problem are needed to help plan and target corrective measures. Providers, states, and the federal government have the opportunity to collect and analyze critical information on changes in the supply of and demand for nurses.

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