Document Detail

Redefining the nursing shortage: a rural perspective.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7753645     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A number of researchers have suggested that nursing shortages are closely related to geographic maldistribution, specialty areas, and even individual shifts. As these findings have documented, the nursing shortage, as defined by the federal government, exists predominantly in rural areas of the country that are not adjacent to metropolitan areas. As a result, many of the economic, demographic, and health-related disparities that exist between rural and urban populations are mirrored in shortage and nonshortage counties. Higher unemployment rates and lower per capita incomes suggest an underlying relationship between economic vitality and the recruitment and retention of health care personnel. This suggests that a fundamental obstacle to staffing adequate numbers of qualified nurses in rural areas may not be a shortage of nurses, but economic barriers (domestic and health care related) deeply rooted in the rural settings themselves. In those states burdened with significant shortage areas, emphasis must be placed on easing the maldistribution of available nurses away from rural, often medically underserved settings. However, while the notion of producing appropriate "types" of nurses is well founded, the temptation to "solve" the problem simply by producing more providers should be resisted, since it will not markedly benefit those areas that are currently in greatest need. The time frame necessary for such "trickle down" approaches to affect rural areas could, when combined with other factors, render many health care delivery systems virtually unsalvageable. To address the persistent distribution problem, we could change how health professionals are educated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
T D Stratton; J W Dunkin; N Juhl
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nursing outlook     Volume:  43     ISSN:  0029-6554     ISO Abbreviation:  Nurs Outlook     Publication Date:    1995 Mar-Apr
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-06-22     Completed Date:  1995-06-22     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401075     Medline TA:  Nurs Outlook     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  71-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM; N    
Rural Health Research Center, School of Medicine, University of North Dakota, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Health Manpower / statistics & numerical data
Nurses / statistics & numerical data,  supply & distribution*
Rural Health* / statistics & numerical data
United States
Grant Support
CSR000005-01-0//PHS HHS

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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