Nursing Shortage 1 Running head: Scarce Resource Article Assessment Scarce Resource Article Assessment University of Phoenix Nur/531 Influencing the Future of Nursing and Health Care February 1, 2010 Nursing Shortage 2 Abstract The purpose of this paper is to prepare an editorial response to the article entitled, Nursing Shortage: Have We Missed the Real Problem? This author will discuss and define the issue and the article. The author will then discuss influencing factors and support the importance of this issue. The author will discuss consequences and challenges of addressing this issue and a proposed solution.
This paper will conclude with this writer’s personal expression regarding this topic. Nursing Shortage 3 Editorial Response This editorial response is in regards to the July 2005 editorial regarding nursing shortage. This author would like to commend the author on the article entitled, Nursing Shortage: Have We Missed the Real Problem? The article was found to be informative in regards to the subject matter, having significant content. Everyday, we are reminded of the existing nursing shortage within the United States.
Discussion surrounding this topic is complex and interrelated. Today’s nursing shortage is very real and very different from any experienced in the past. The new nursing shortage is evidenced by fewer nurses entering the workforce, acute nursing shortages in certain geographic areas, and a shortage of nurses adequately prepared to meet certain areas of patient need in an ever changing health care environment. As a result, there is a growing realization that the supply of appropriately prepared nurses is inadequate to meet the needs of a diverse population.
The article discussed the need to provide nurses with tools and the skills utilized by other professions so they can deliver quality care using the most up-to-date technology available. While the shortage of nursing colleagues is significant, those left behind should be have the best tools to provide care regardless of the number of nurses (F. Bower, 2006). However, this author believes that without nurses being present to utilize these tools, these tools aren’t of great significance.
This author believes that the article was unique in itself, but the problem of the current nursing shortage is of more significance and was not the major focus of the article. The article lacked focus of the current nursing shortage which is the real issue at hand. Nursing Shortage 4 Influencing Factors/ Support Influencing factors impacting the nursing shortage include: an aging nursing workforce, the majority of nurses are retiring and job opportunities within healthcare are expanding, limited nursing school faculty, restricting the enrollment of nursing students, and lack of professional resources available.
Significant support is required in this crisis situation. This support entails: demonstrating to healthcare leaders that nurses are the critical leaders in America’s health care system and creating patient care models that encourage professional nurse autonomy and clinical decision making (C. Caroselli,2005). Other support include: establishing specific nurse-to-patient ratios as it encourages more nurses to enter and stay in the workforce (T. Oliver, 2009), and developing/ implementing strategies to promote the retention of Registered Nurses and nurse educators in the workforce (J.
Koerner,2006). Challenges/ Consequences There are many challenges associated with the current nursing shortage. These include: a decline in nursing school enrollments, with an increased aging population, increased nurse patient ratios, and a decrease in nursing staff resulting in increased workloads over worked nurses. Some related consequences include: poor patient care and satisfaction, poor patient outcomes, and increased patient mortality. Nursing Shortage 5 Proposed Solution If we will ever overcome this nursing shortage, there should be strategies for the future.
Many organizations have identified gaps, made recommendations and implemented strategies to address nursing workforce issues. However, in order to encourage the development and deployment of nursing personnel with skill appropriate to the health care system, the public, policy makers and the profession must engage in ongoing long term workforce planning, regardless of the perceived or real pressures related the short term demand for nursing services. Without measures to reserve the trends of this nursing shortage, the nation is in danger of experiencing serious breakdowns in the health care system.
Strategies to recruit and retain are costly and must be done with some assurance that these efforts will be accompanied by specific strategies to overcome workforce issues that discourage long term commitment to a career in nursing. These strategies will include: implementing specific strategies to retain experienced nurses in the provision of direct patient care such as, rewarding experienced nurses for serving as preceptors for new RN’s and implementing appropriate salary and benefit programs.
Other strategies would include: developing career progression initiatives, creating a partnership environment that advances the practice of nursing, and redesigning work to enable an aging workforce to remain active in direct care roles. The lay public should be involved in supporting this solution because it will assist with the current nursing shortage and nurse retention. This in turn will allow the nurse to provide better/ quality patient care, decreased patient mortality, and provide better patient outcomes.
Nursing Shortage 6 Conclusion Registered Nurses are the single largest group of health care professionals in the United States. Current and projected nursing shortages reflect the fact that fewer people are entering the profession. The nursing shortage is negatively impacting patient care and undermining the quality of care the patient receives. Evidence suggests that more nurses lead to better patient outcomes. Projected long term shortages will create still greater cost and quality challenges.
Without measures to aide in today’s nursing shortage, the nation is in danger of experiencing serious breakdowns in the health care system. Nursing Shortage 7
References Bower, F. (2006). Nursing Shortage: have we missed the real problem? Nursing Economics, 22 (4), 202-206. Caroselli, C. (2005). Strategies for reducing nursing shortage. Alternative Journal of Nursing, 14(7), 45-49. Koerner, J. (2006). Addressing the nursing shortage. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 33(6), 913- 916. Oliver, T. (2009). Facts about the nursing shortage. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 49(6), 578-590.