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August 2006, Volume 36 Number 8 - Supplement: ED Insider , p 14 - 16


  • Kathy S. Robinson, RN, BS
  • Mary M. Jagim, RN, CEN, BSN
  • Carl E. Ray, RN, BSN, BC


Our emergency departments (EDs) are having their own emergency. From 1992 through 2003, ED visits increased by 26%, while the number of hospital EDs in the United States decreased by about 12%. Compounding this ominous equation are the national nursing and general health care workforce shortages, inadequate access to primary care and specialty services, an exponential increase in the number of inpatients being “boarded” in the ED, and the federally mandated “open access to emergency medical care” for all dedicated EDs.

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