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The projected nursing shortage can incur significant impact to the nursing profession and to the public. For one, the anticipated increase of the U.S aging population, this will put more strain on the nursing profession to find nursing to care for this population. At the same token, there is a great proportion of the nursing workforce that will reach retirement age. This will create an imbalance situation in terms of nurse-to-patient ratios. Such event will indubitably trigger anxiety, job burnout, turnover, absenteeism, and low morality within the nursing profession.
The nursing shortage can have adverse impacts to patients’ health-care outcomes. The public might suffer considerably from medical errors; nurses may have less time to spend and care with patients. As a result, the proportions of hospital readmission and patient death can increase exponentially.
The nursing profession will face with the urgency to provide answers to the nursing workforce disparity in relation to the growing aging population. Such ageing population are suffering from chronic diseases that require long-term care. That is, the nursing profession must increase the nursing workforce pool to compensate for the projected shortage.
One way that the nursing profession is dealing with resolving this issue is through public-private partnerships. Such a strategy can put emphasis on encouraging nurses to access to higher education so that they become nurse educator. This will require providing incentives to nurse. In the same perspective, efforts should be done to launch advertising programs that show positive aspects of the nursing profession. Coupled with these, community leaders, healthcare associations, and Nursing Association should advocate elected officials to provide more funds to help the nursing profession.
The nursing shortage is not only related to the “baby boomers” retiring. It is also the qualified nurse not willing to work in the present conditions. These conditions are inadequate workforce planning, understaffed, poor recruitment, retention, return policies, and the ineffective availability of nursing resources. High patient to nurse ratios is causing the nurses today to have “burn out” and they eventually leave their nursing career. The failure to deal with the nursing shortage will lead to the failure to maintain and improve health care and it will have a huge impact on the nursing profession and the public. Addressing the nurse shortage and providing a more positive staffing environment in which the clinical practice can actually be delivered is a resolution to the nursing shortage. Providing a more positive staffing environment includes motivating the nurses, providing support, really looking at patient acuity and nurse to patient ratios, providing incentives on nurse retention and nurse recruitment. Nurses should be able to have the opportunities to develop professionally, have opportunities for growth, gain autonomy, and have a say in the decision making and truly be listened to by their managers and administration team. (Buchan & Aiken, 2014). Most individuals become nurses because they truly care and have compassion. They want to help people get better, this includes on their job along outside their jobs. Nurses take their profession very serious but there is only so much one person can do. Nurses have families also and should be able to come into work and take care of their patients in a safe environment and go home to spend time with their families at the end of the day.
The nursing profession is at risk of an increased shortage of nurses. The increased shortage of nurses can strongly impact health care corporations. In my current position in both the Nursing home/Rehab and the hospital setting, I have noticed that when we have shortages nurses are placed at risk for harm. Nurses become responsible for increased workload, which can lead to physical and emotional stress. This places both you and your patients at danger.
Another issue that arise within my hospital when short staffed is the ability to admit patients. If we have reached a full census we are unable to admit patients from the emergency room. This will place the emergency room on full capacity, meaning patients will need to go to the nearest hospital. This potentially can delay care for patients that urgently need it. Management also prefers that we keep all of our beds full to ensure maximum revenue and with out the appropriate staff we are unable to do so. The nursing shortage is quickly approaching. According to The Health Resources and Services Administration “more than 1 million registered nurses will reach retirement age within the next 10 to 15 years” (AACN, 2014). This will create a major set back reinforcing the issue stated above. Many organizations are working on hiring young graduate students in order to replace the baby boomers class. This provides a company and the nursing community with longevity in an attempt to replace the baby boomer class. Many states are working to expand the nursing programs as well as create more in order to keep up with the current and up and coming shortage.