In recent years an ever increasing problem has emerged within the health care delivery system in the United States: there is a shortage of registered nurses to meet patient care needs. This shortage raises serious public policy concerns about how society will be assured of quality health care and who will provide that care in the future. An awareness of the problems that have led to the nursing shortage and exploration of alternatives to the present health care delivery system are required in order to remedy the problem. The efforts of the nursing profession to overcome the effects of the shortage could well dictate the future of health care into the next century. As a society, we must be willing to assist by examining alternatives to the present health care delivery system so that nurses continue to provide competent health care, the basis of the public concern.
Nancy A. Hoffman,
Nursing and the Future of Health Care: The Independent Practice Imperative, 20 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.