The Nursing Shortage Essay

4481 Words Feb 19th, 2006 18 Pages
The Nursing Shortage: Why Today's Shortage is Unique


The nursing profession has experienced shortages many times in the past. This pattern was cyclical, with periods of high vacancy rates followed by layoffs and an oversupply of registered nurses. Today, we are experiencing another drought for nursing, but due to many factors, this shortage is different from anything the profession has witnessed in previous years. There are many that feel this shortage is severe and prolonged because the solution is complicated, and not simply a matter of a decrease in the number of registered nurses in the United States.

Within the content of this paper, I will be presenting a description of the current nursing shortage. An
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This will mean that registered nurses will have to continue to develop and refine efficient and effective patient care delivery models that appropriately use all available staff to their highest educational potential.

Several journals and texts have cited nurses leaving the profession as a contributing factor to the nursing shortage. Nurses have left hospital nursing to work for managed care organizations, insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms, health care technology vendors, medical device vendors, and consulting firms. Many nurses seek regular hours, with no night or weekend responsibility. Mandatory overtime is one of the biggest issues with nursing.

Other issues facing nursing today is the high acuity of clients in hospitals. Medically complex clients require skilled nursing care. There is an increased demand for nurses because so much of the health care is moving to community settings, which increase the demand for nurses.

Job dissatisfaction is also a major problem. Staffing levels, heavy workloads, mandatory overtime, lack of sufficient support and salary were issues identified in several sources (Tappen, 2004, et al.). Nurses have left the profession to pursue careers in entirely different areas, as well as choosing to remain home with their families.

Hospitals have attempted to institute recruiting strategies. Sign on bonuses have been popular in the past, but have proven to encourage job hopping to get higher levels of income, and do

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