Sunday, December 29, 2002

The TV 60 Minutes had a segment on the supposed US nursing shortage. So recruiters are looking to other countries, like S. Africa. The explanation, according to the show, is that real wages for nurses have declined.

This is not a shortage. It is simple supply and demand. There are plenty of nurses for any hospital that wants to pay the money. The health care providers just argue that there is a shortage to excuse importing cheap labor from overseas.

A recent BMJ article says that nurses spend a lot of their time doing non-nursing tasks. Recruiting more nurses might just lower morale by making them do more non-nursing tasks.

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