Shortage In Health Care

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While the need for Health Care workers will increase substantially as the Baby Boomer population ages and medical needs increase, there is concern that this need can be met as the growth of nursing staff fails to meet the demand. In December 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected in Employment Projections 2012-2022 that the work force for Registered Nurses is expected to increase by 19% from 2012 to 2022. In a 2009 article in Health Affairs titled “The Recent Surge in Nurse Employment: Causes and Implications” Dr. Peter Beurhaus reported that a shortage of RN’s is expected to exceed 260,000 by 2025. This shortage is primarily the cause of current workers reaching retirement age, the inability of nursing schools to accommodate the influx …show more content…
Expanding the facilities to educate, increasing the faculty of educators and funding educations take time and resources and may not be enough to circumvent the compounding amount of nurses retiring from the field, the additional nurses needed for the increased aging and ill patients, as well as those who leave for another field due to the strain of the workload left trying to cover the current shortages. Insufficient staffing is blamed for increased stress levels on nurses, impacting patient care, and job satisfaction as reported in the AACN Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet, in reference to an article in Nursing Economic$, March 2005, causing nurses to leave the profession. When nurses are responsible for more patients than they can safely care for, they can experience greater emotional exhaustion which can contribute to actual harm to the patient by simple mistakes or lack of sufficient care. Research done by Dr. Jeannie Cimiotti as reported in the American Journal of Infection Control, has shown that increasing the patient load of a nurse by even 1 patient has caused higher rates of infection in surgical sites and UTI’s (March 2012 pg. 490). Numerous other studies have shown patient mortality rates to increase with higher workloads and that less deaths, less infections, and shorter hospital stays were …show more content…
This can cause nurses to feel overwhelmed in their assignments and leave the field altogether. In an effort to understand the workload, and attitudes of new nurses, Dr. Christine Kovner and her associates conducted a study in 2007 titled “Newly Licensed RNs’ Characteristics, Work Attitudes, and Intentions to Work.” The study found that new RN’s were typically given the same workload as more experienced RN’s and that work was difficult, almost 13% worked mandatory overtime. “They experienced injuries and a substantial amount of verbal abuse.” (pg 65) 13% of new nurses had changed principle jobs after 1 year and an additional 37% felt ready to change jobs. Increased compensation for the demand on nurses helps but ultimately does not decrease the strain. Although compensation has increased, mainly during a small shortage scare before the recession, the increase over time and in comparison to the increased demand is minimal and according to the BLS have only kept pace with inflation. “Average annual earnings for RNs employed full-time were $66,973 in 2008, rising 15.9 percent since the 2004 average of $57,785 (chart 14). When annual earnings are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI), earnings in 2008 were $26,826, which

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