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2001 April 30 Release

For Immediate Release Contact: Bonnie Arkus 609-771-9600


Trenton, New Jersey. April 2001 - Next week is National Nurse's Week and the Women's Heart Foundation wants to thank those nurses who work each and every day to take care of those of us who live and work in the community. In appreciation of nurses, is WHF is conducting a program May 10 with volunteer community caregivers and nurses, in hopes of establishing new networks and links of support in this changing healthcare environment.

Our country is facing a critical nursing shortage. Many nurses are forced to work overtime, give up weekends and holidays with their families and care for patients under increasingly adverse conditions…and they must do so for surprisingly little compensation. While it is very rewarding to care for others, it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to do more with less, especially when considering the level of care that is required. Patients both in the hospital setting and in homecare are sicker and need more skillful care, more creative management and more timely intervention than ever before. Nurses are often faced with inadequate resources, working double shifts and an expectation to complete mounds of paper work on their own time. This troubling situation forces nurses to either leave the profession or tolerate the intolerable for fear of reprisal.

Medicare cutbacks, managed care with reorganization of healthcare systems, inadequate pay, user friend-less work schedules, excess paperwork - all have contributed to the current nursing shortage with a shrinking national workforce of nurses. Couple this with the average age of the nurse being 45 (with many soon to retire) and the current enrollment in nursing schools being on the decline and one can begin to appreciate the magnitude of the nursing shortage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 450,000 additional registered nurses will be needed to fill hospital demand by 2008. Where will they come from?

We need nurses to manage high-tech care associated with many heart procedures and we need to find ways to retain the nurses that we have. This tribute for nurses and volunteer caregivers is but a small thing, but it is a start. Celebrate nurses during National Nurses Week.


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©1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.