Nurse Shortage

Remedial Steps

Nursing Education support

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Lack of reliable nursing education infrastructure and trainers forms a major pillar towards the nurse shortage. As such, the private and public sector ought to intensively consider investing in nursing education through the provision of equipped learning institutions (Nickitas, Middough & Aries, 2011). Lack of elementary training tools in the healthcare industry make the skills of the trained teachers unreliable and most impractical. Cordially, the government ought to be in the lead in budgeting and funding nursing training institutions, as a strategic approach to support the career advancement and training of nurses. Importantly, improving the infrastructure in training institutions enhances the trained nurse’s practical experience and professional skills in the healthcare industry. 

Investing in nursing education plays a critical role in building and advancing nursing professionals’ career and as such critical in enhancing retention in the job industry (Morgan & Somera, 2014). Equipped and supportive educational institutions allow nurses not only to acquire elementary skills but also get the opportunity to advance their careers. Limited career growth in the nursing career was found to increase the rate of career switch or quitting nursing jobs. Advanced institutions as such offers career progress and add value to their nurses’ professional profile. It also gives the trained nurses a promotional edge hence assisting in making the nursing career attractive and developmental.

The strategy also enhances nursing programs diversity available in the learning institutions (Nickitas, Middough & Aries, 2011). Limitation in available nursing programs reduces the likelihood of a potential nursing youth choosing a nursing career. With established institutions, the learners will have a variety and as such allowing the potential nurses to join variant programs, which reduce the immense shortage in the sector. Enhanced diversity in nursing programs as well would increase creativity, innovation, and result in improved nursing processes and operations in delivering healthcare. Collectively, investing in improving nursing education would play a critical role in reducing nurses’ shortage both in the short run and long run.

Creating a Positive Work Environment

Creating an interesting, explorative and positive work environment would be critical in reducing nurse shortage (Morgan & Somera, 2014). A big number of nurses quitting their career reported nursing to have limited interactions with the outside world. Today, creating a work-social balance plays a primary role in enhancing employee satisfaction. Collectively, reducing work monotony basically associated with “all day working” experience would aid in nurse retention. Typically, ensuring continued employee engagement remains critical in ensuring recognition and job satisfaction. Enhancing flexible working programs for nurses would increase job satisfaction and as such increase their loyalty and effectiveness at work (Hollmann, 2014). Such a strategy would as well ensure that nurses have opportunities to bridge gaps in their social life, not directly associated with their day-to-day work such as career advancement. 

Healthcare organization could initiate non-work programs within the working environment such as support and problem-solving groups (Nickitas, Middough, & Aries, 2011). Such initiatives would assist the employees to create a cushion for their daily experiences and also create room for job satisfaction. Primarily, such initiatives would be important in assisting the nurses to own their roles, activities, and as such increase their productivity. Moreover, a positive work environment creates job ownership, responsibility acquisition, and feel of control. Collectively, work environment improvement ensures that nurses remain satisfied and willing to explore and learn, and as such increase the retention rate and minimize retrenchment index in search for different careers and job opportunities. 

Change of Policies Affecting Nurses

One of the proposed change of policies is remuneration, as healthcare and legislature typically have immense impacts on the nurse shortage due to low pay and economic recognition (Morgan & Somera, 2014). The existing policies have limited financial growth for nurses hence making the career less rewarding as compared to other careers in society. Typically, the youths have a high appetite for financial growth and especially with the increasing cost of living. As such, policies ought to recognize the nurses’ needs and increase financial compensation not only for nurses but also for nurses’ educators. Policies as well ought to demand nurses’ career growth and also support their career advancement. 

The government as well ought to heavily invest in changing policies limiting primary healthcare available to its citizens as a strategic approach in ensuring the citizens have access to elementary healthcare and as such minimize the workload for advanced healthcare, particularly for the aging population. Increasing primary healthcare aids in reducing the workload for advanced healthcare, which increases nurse availability and individuals served by a single nurse (Nickitas, Middough & Aries, 2011). Policies as well ought to control the private sector as a strategy to make it affordable and accessible by population with moderate economic capabilities.

Again, healthcare providers could recognize and reward preferred nursing behaviors (Morgan & Somera, 2014). The strategy would act as a motivating approach for nurses to endorse best practices, which encourages them to serve with objectivity and collectively increase employee performance and efficiency. Providing such privileges and incentives continuously encourage and keep nurses focused hence minimizing their career distractions and collectively enhancing retention rate. Moreover, the approach could as well increase job satisfaction and significantly increase referrals to the industry.

Retiring Nurses’ Program

The program would entail taking into account and proactively preparing to replace retiring nurses (RNs). Ideally, the strategy aims at sustaining the number of trained nurses working with and for the healthcare industry (Morgan & Somera, 2014). The strategy would ensure recruitment meets the shortage caused by retiring nurses and collectively minimize adverse impacts of nurse shortage. The program as such would ensure the newly recruited nurses spend significant time with the experienced RNs to ensure smooth flow of expertise in the healthcare industry. Moreover, the strategy would assist in triggering the RNs willing to work after retirement and comprehensively taking into control healthcare shortage crises. Critical implementation for the RNs transition program would significantly assist fill gaps in nurse shortage in the healthcare sector.

Social Attitude Change

Creating social change for the nursing career attitude as a feminine profession to a universal career would significantly aid in reducing nurse shortage (Hollmann, 2014). Nursing is strongly viewed as a feminine professional and as such limited males willingly join the career. With ladies shifting their interest to other careers available in the professional domain, the nursing sector has been hit hard with trainee shortages on basis of the social perception of the career. Creating awareness, motivation, and support for a nursing career across gender would assist increase the number of youths particularly joining the nursing training institutions. Such critical intervention would increase gender balance in the nursing career and significantly lay a foundation for long term increase in nurse education trainees (Hollmann, 2014). Collectively, working towards social perception change would increase trained nurses in the healthcare sector and correctively reduce the current shortage.

Events leading to Nurses’ Shortage

Baby Boomer after the Second World War

After the Second World War, the generation increased rapidly increasing the population significantly (Hollmann, 2014). Years down the line, the generation has reached the age of retire, which is associated with special healthcare. The increasing aging population has increased the workload on the nursing duties and as such reducing the nurse-patient ratio. Moreover, demand for intensive care, especially from the professional healthcare service providers has increased and consequently affected the nursing workforce leading to nurse shortage.

Retiring Nurses Increase

On the other hand, the number of trained healthcare providers were aging and hitting the retirement ceiling (Hollmann, 2014). The incident matched the increased demand for healthcare providers and as such increasing the pressure on the need for nurses. Moreover, limited youths were joining the profession as they switched to other careers and collectively increasing the shortage in the industry. Collectively, the retirement reduction in the workforce along with low recruitment in nursing contributed significantly to the shortage currently being experienced. 

My Role in Shortage Crisis

Specialty would be a key role in my future practice of healthcare service. In specialty, I would be productive, efficient, and able to address specific health needs satisfactorily and for less time, which translates to extending my service to extra patients as compared to a situation where I would be having general healthcare skills and experience. Collectively, specialty leads to high effectiveness, enhanced performance, and dedicated service to patients.

I would as well enroll in providing home care services. Practically, this refers to taking healthcare services to patients in their homes and care centers. The interventions assist in ‘keeping patients away from the traditional hospital setup’. Ideally, the approach would reduce the number of patients seeking medical assistance, and especially assisted care from hospitals hence reducing potential workload. Consequently, the approach would assist improve the nurse-patient ratio. 

Again, I would actively be participating in giving referrals to friends and colleagues interested in nursing practices. By doing this, I would increase staff available and potential nurses in the healthcare industry. In my opinion, the approach would assist cushion the impacts on nurse shortage in the short and long run.  Increased referrals translate to more staff and nursing trainees. 

Legislature’s Contribution

The Legislature has critical roles in ensuring safe staffing, particularly during shortages (Morgan & Somera, 2014). Key roles include provision for a ceiling on possible overtime per employee over a specified period. Prohibiting excessive overtime, which ensures that patients receive safe and quality healthcare. The legislation also requires nurses to adhere to scheduled overtime allocation as a strategic approach to create workforce-workload balance. The approach importantly aims at sustaining a specified nurse-patient ratio, which ensures patients receive healthcare service without compromising quality (Morgan & Somera, 2014). Additionally, the legislation board policies giving incentives for both new entrants and nurses willing to advance their careers increases nursing recruits and consequently addresses the shortage in the long run. Moreover, legislation whistleblower policies to protect employees who report non-quality practices in the healthcare sector significantly enhances healthcare services safety.  

References

Hollmann, P. A. (2014). Program Evaluation: Defining and Measuring Appropriate Outcomes. Healthcare Changes and the Affordable Care Act, 153-168. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-09510-3_9

Morgan, D., & Somera, P. (2014). The Future Shortage of Doctoral Prepared Nurses and the Impact on the Nursing Shortage. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 38(1), 22-26. doi:10.1097/naq.0000000000000001Nickitas, D. M., Middough, D. J., & Aries, N. (2011). Public Policy and Politics for Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals: Advocacy and Action. Journal of Nursing Regulation,2(1), 64. doi:10.1016/s2155-8256(15)30305-7

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