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Nursing shortage in U.S. temporarily over

The Detroit News / Bloomberg, March 22, 2012

A nursing shortage in the U.S. that led to a decade-long push for new hires and graduates in the field is over, at least until 2020 when a glut of retirees will leave a new gap to fill, researchers said. The number of full-time nurses grew by about 386,000 from 2005 to 2010 and about a third of the growth occurred as unemployment rose to a high of 10 percent during that period, according to a report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The increase in the nursing work force from 2005 to 2010 was the largest of any five-year period during the last 40 years, the authors said. Hospitals began experiencing a shortage of nurses in 1998, according to the American Hospital Association in 2002.