As more baby boomers age, so does a large swath of the nursing population. And while there are still plenty of young nurses entering the workforce, many areas are facing a shortage. One of those hit especially hard is Portland, Maine, according to the Bangor Daily News.
More elderly patients means more complex care needs. And with the declining number of baby-boomer nurses, even new nurses are at a higher risk for burnout. That’s part of the reason some nursing students are turning to community nursing and away from the high-stress, high-turnover ER environment.
With fewer experienced nurses, quality education is sometimes a high hurdle to leap over. Programs like Upstream, through the University of New England, give students experience working with a wide variety of communities including immigrants, the homeless and refugees, that focus on community outreach and coordination. But both education and more community nurses are needed to curtail the shortage. Courtney Wilson, a current nursing student, spoke to these needs:
You have to have people who can go out there and help people with their new medication regimens or diabetes education. A little half-hour snippet about that when they’re being discharged, I mean they’re already stressed out. The hospital’s a stressful environment. We need more community nurses.