WASHINGTON (Cox) -- A growing shortage of nurses can be remedied only if hospitals restore some of the job satisfaction lost amid cost-cutting, officials of a nurse placement firm say.
Higher pay is needed, but not as much as better working conditions, said Joseph A. Boshart, president of Cross Country Staffing, which provides temporary nursing staff for hospitals nationwide.
He offered those conclusions after his company hosted a conference here Monday on how to deal with the twin trends of a nurse shortage and new state mandates requiring hospitals to raise nurse-patient ratios.
"This is a terrific business environment for us," acknowledged Boshart. His Boca Raton, Fla.-based company has 4,500 nurses working in about 3,000 hospitals around the country.
Even so, he said, the projected demand for more nurses means that "there's no way that we can fill these vacancies" in the future.
The nursing gap, now estimated at 300,000 positions nationwide, is expected to double by the end of the decade as registered nurses leave patient care for other jobs and enrollment in nursing schools continues a five-year decline. A …