Nurses are the pillars of every health sector, they spend more time with the patients than any health care providers. A shortage of nurses has been projected to rise across the country between 2009 and 2030, mostly in the South and West (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2017)
The impact of nursing shortage to nursing Profession
Nursing is noble profession, nurses use their expertise skills and knowledge to safe patient’s lives and improve the quality of patients’ lives. Even though nursing is one of the fastest-growing profession, (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2017) but the impact of nurse’s shortage is felt by other nurses who work longer hours or days to make sure patients are taken care of. Some nurses who cannot handle the stress may either look forward to early retirement or changing to another profession, thereby causing more blow to the situation. Apart from that, a nurse who is tired or burnt out is prone to making medication errors and documentation error, thus putting the lives of the patients at risk, or even risking his or her nursing license and violating the standard of nursing practice.
Impact of Projected Nursing Shortage to the public
Research has link inadequate hospital nurse staffing to increased risk of adverse patient outcomes like increased mortality, and prolonged patient hospitalization. Patients and the public are the recipients of nursing services; therefore, any shortage of nursing staff affects the public they serve. Nurses help to improve the quality of lives of the public through education, physical assessment, and referrals. Nurses are involved in preventive healthcare which reduces the rate of hospitalization. In long-term management of chronic diseases and home health settings, nurses use their competencies and knowledge to provide care and ensure safety to their patients. When nurses are over-stressed due to short staff shift, it may be difficult to cooperate with other health care providers, thus impacting patient care, professional relationship, and work environment. (Buerhaus, Donelan, Ulrich, 2005)
Discuss at least one way that the nursing profession is working toward a resolution of this problem.
The American Nurses Association have advocated that the federal government boost the funding for nursing workforce development programs. (Wolters Kluwer, 2016) This program provides grants for nursing education, provides supports to nursing students and loan forgiveness program for the students. This would not only attract more people to enroll in nursing programs but also serve as a motivating factor for the students.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2017) Current and Projected Shortage Indicators. Retrieved September 4th from http://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Fact-Sheets/Nursing-Shortage
Buerhaus. P, K. Donelan, B. T Ulrich (2005) Impact of the nurses’ shortage on hospital patient Care: Comparative Perspectives. Health Affairs. Retrieved on September 4th from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/26/3/853.full
Wolters Kluwer (2016) Dire Nursing Shortage: How Will It Affect Patient Care? Nursing Education Blog. Retrieved September 4th from http://nursingeducationsuccess.com/dire-nursing-shortage-how-will-it-affect-patient-care/