There is an ever-increasing shortage of nurses in the American hospitals. In 1964 the U.S. Public Health Services Act signaled a looming shortage of nurses and recommended an increase in funding of the nurses training. This has been attributed to various factors. Additional funding resulted into an increase in the number of nurses joining the profession in the subsequent decades. Since then funding has been increasing, however, the shortage of nurses has been persistent.
Key words: Nurses’ shortage, public health.
Data originating from the U.S. Census Current Population Survey confirm that the rise in nurse education financing lead to a subsequent rise in new Registered Nurses completing their courses, and entering the profession. However, in the same decades between 1970s and 1980s fewer female numbers registered to be trained as nurses. In 1970s women in significantly much bigger numbers were enrolling as lawyers and computer programmers, biologists, chemists and mathematicians, business executives and university professors. Partly because of this rise in substitute openings for women, smaller numbers of women opted to take nursing degrees. This additionally contributes to the decreased numbers of trained nurses.
In October 2013 AMN the staffing company produced its annual survey regarding Registered Nurses. Regarding the respondents’ answers towards plans, over 23 percent of nurses aged about 55 years old indicated they are considering leaving for part-time jobs or retiring completely in the recent future. That indicates over 187,200 could retire or transfer to non-nursing professions with additional 81,900 transferring to part-time nurse occupations therefore an aggregate of over 269,100 RNs would be parting full time engagements as Registered Nurses. This represents a looming shortage of nurses if the respondents were to successfully undertake their plans adding pain to the already existing shortage.
This article clearly indicates that nurses’ shortages were noticed decades ago and this problem has never been amicably resolved. I feel that this manifests inefficiency in the oversight bodies over the years. The fact that young people are opting to engage in other professions other than nursing indicates that there is need to identify the reasons behind. The most prevalent reason is of cause remuneration, nurses salaries should be raised to attract more people in the profession.
Funding of nursing training seems to be on the rise, thus, the student numbers are definitely increasing, however, there still an existing nurses shortage. This calls for establishment of additional nursing colleges. For this to be successful and in-order to attract qualified instructors more funding must be injected into the establishment and compensation of the instructors. If this fails to commence then the nurses shortages will continue to haunt the American Health care.
I find it regrettable that some hospitals have initiated a no fresh graduates hiring, laying preference to experienced nurses. Bearing in mind the findings that older nurses in the profession are planning to retire poses a danger f having big numbers of non-experienced nurses in our hospitals. If fresh graduates are not hired they will most possibly join other professions and the instance they are required for hiring they will be unavailable. This will create the biggest shortage of nurses ever experienced. Therefore, hospitals must consider a balanced employment formula. This will create a continued professional healthcare delivery by experienced nurses. The early retiring of nurses is expected to create a double-shortage of nurses since there will also be a need for replacements. I suggest that the relevant bodies including the government institute measures that will caution the American citizen from quality health care service.
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