All too often, individuals forget the most central component of the healthcare sector — care, itself.

Our medical facilities rely wholly on the individuals who make up their workforce. Nursing is a fundamentally selfless profession, predicated on RNs giving of themselves until we, their patients, are fully rehabilitated. It’s why they are so often referred to as caregivers.

Yet, faced with a diminishing nursing workforce and rampant lack of crucial resources permeating the industry, America is in jeopardy of entirely abandoning “care” in its healthcare sector. Simply put — without nurses, there is no care.

In an opinion piece for Fierce Healthcare, Eric Hargan, former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, details the decades-long ramifications that may ensue as a result of America’s lack of trained nurses. He points out that nursing requires years of education and training, and in order to create a sustainable workforce, the healthcare sector must take immediate action to retain talent.

Amid what was dubbed the “great resignation,” 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs — a trend that impacted just about every industry. Yet the healthcare sector has been dealt a unique blow in what appears to be a long-term antipathy among nurses toward the profession. Hargan writes that according to a 2022 report published by Elsevier Health, 47% of healthcare workers in the U.S. are looking to leave their jobs over the next three years.

To avert the crisis that is all but certain to materialize should America face a fundamental lack of medical personnel, Hargan believes that novel solutions must be employed immediately. Foreign-educated nurses are highly trained professionals who are qualified to be staffed at medical facilities throughout the nation; they can help fill the gaps in care that will soon become chasms, should the industry wait any longer.

Read Hargan’s piece here.