Nursing Shortage Analysis

1800 Words 8 Pages
The Nursing Shortage and its Adverse Effects on Patient and Nurses How would you feel if you had to wait an incredibly long time to receive care every time you went to a healthcare facility because of a nursing staff shortage? You would probably feel neglected, irritated, and frustrated. It might be understandable occasionally, but if care was frequently delayed, you would probably be inclined to find a new provider. Not only is the nursing shortage upsetting for patients, a patient to nurse ratio greater than 4:1 is associated with significantly worse patient outcomes (Hairr & Salisbury, 2014). The staffing shortage affects the quality of patient care, and has an adverse effect on nurses as well.
Description of the nursing shortage challenges
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Nurses no longer sleep in wards near their patients. The 24-hour clock has been split into shift work. Initially the split was three 8-hour shifts, but in the 1970s to aid in the alleviation of the nursing shortage 24-hour staffing was changed to two 12-hour shifts (Rollins, 2015). Most nurses found the 12-hour shifts appealing. The 12-hour shifts led to less work hours and less work days, allowing nurses to better balance their job and family life. However, this change adversely affected the quality of patient care and nurse …show more content…
(Snavely, 2012). Most employed baby boomers will be preparing to retire from the labor force within the next 10-15 years. As baby boomers exit the labor force they will be leaving numerous gaps, and collectively taking thousands of years of experience along with them. The younger generation that will be filling these vacancies numbers about half the size of the baby boomer generation (Snavely, 2012). The baby boomers also present another problem with nurse staffing. Due to the increased chronic health issues, like COPD, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and illnesses that are endemic to the elderly, there will be an increased need for nursing personnel for an increasingly aged population.
There are numerous issues that present barriers to staffing nurses and to the decreasing number of nurses entering the labor force. It will be left to those entering the nursing profession to effectively use the knowledge gained from many years of experience that the nurses exiting the profession will be endowing to them.
Opportunities for Overcoming the Challenges Surrounding Low

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