Mary Gullatte Discusses Nursing Shortages

Mary Gullatte, the president of the Oncology Nursing Society, Discusses Nursing Shortages

Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, AOCN®, FAAN, associate chief nursing officer, Emory University Hospital Midtown, president, Oncology Nursing Society, discusses the factors that contribute to nursing shortages and what may be behind an apparent lack of shortages.

According to the average non-nurse individual there is not currently a nursing shortage. However, when looking at the figures closer it becomes clear that those who would have retired were unable to do so because of the state of the economy. Additionally, the economy may have resulted in a spouse losing their job, forcing many part-time nurses into full time status. These adjustments have resulted in many gaps to appear momentarily filled.

Gullatte warns that it is still the baby boomer genre of nursing shortages and that the largest shortages will come when this generation begins to retire in 10-15 years. Currently, the average age of a nurse is 45-47 and most people expect to retire between 60 and 65. There will soon be a large amount of nurses who will no longer be in the workplace, which will result in further shortages.


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