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Nursing shortage could lead to an increase in errors

Nurses are one of the most trusted professions in the nation. People rely on these health care professionals to provide exceptional medical treatment while they are on the mend. Nurses must be licensed and well-qualified to work in hospitals, doctors' offices and nursing homes. However, a shortage of nurses may mean an increase in errors and a decrease in quality treatment.

As many as 1.2 million positions for registered nurses will become available over the next five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only are registered nurses in high demand, nurses who specialize in fields, such as geriatrics and oncology, are also needed.

The shortage means that nurses are often forced to work longer hours and many must work under while stressed and fatigued. These conditions can lead to serious medical mistakes, such as medication errors or treating the wrong patient.

Indiana is putting forth efforts to encourage more people to go into the nursing field. In addition to recruiters working at job fairs, representatives regularly visit area high schools to inform students about the benefits of becoming a nurse. Some providers even offer potential nurses $5,000 to $10,000 sign-on bonuses.

The nursing shortage may be caused by several factors. A retiring generation of baby boomers and an increased incidence of chronic disease requires more nurses to keep up with the growing demand. Furthermore, many people have insurance due to the Affordable Care Act.

People who are victims of medical errors may want to seek counsel from a personal injury attorney in Indiana. A lawyer may be able to answer your questions and point you in the right direction when it comes to seeking compensation.

Source: The Republic, "Nurses seek right prescription," Mark Webber, Apr. 23, 2017.

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