The national healthcare issue selected for analysis is the nursing shortage. The nursing shortage is an ongoing problem that healthcare systems deal with daily, especially in this COVID-19 era. The nursing shortage is a significant issue that is highly prevalent around the country; one experienced in various and individual workplaces. According to Haddad and Toney-Butler (2020), the nursing shortage causes numerous issues of concern; shortages are due to a lack of potential educators, high turnover, and inequitable workforce distribution.
The nursing shortage is an ongoing and widespread problem with no definitive solution found yet. Some contributory factors are the growing baby boomer populations with an increased need for health services and the aging of baby boomer nurses with the same population retiring. Significant factors contributing to the nursing shortage are the fast nursing turnover rates, management issues, job-related stress, job dissatisfaction, and the failure to nurture new nurses. Marshall and Broome (2017) contend that looming faculty shortages are among the nursing workforce’s biggest threats. Nursing shortage negatively impacts patient care and needs to be addressed to promote positive patient outcomes because nursing shortages lead to errors, higher morbidity, and mortality rates. Hospitals with high patient-to-nurse ratios experience burnout, dissatisfaction Haddad and Toney-Butler, 2020).
The nursing shortage is one of the most significant stressors experienced in place of employment currently. A majority of the nursing staff are dissatisfied with the new management and the leadership style of their way or the highway. This attitude/ management style contributes to the nursing shortage and has resulted in many nursing staff always calling off from work repeatedly at current employment; many have transferred out or outrightly resigned. Nurses are floated to different units with no inherent experience.
The COVID-19 has also substantially contributed to this already problematic issue with nurses experiencing burnout. Job dissatisfaction among nurses contributes to costly labor disputes, high turnover, and risk to patients; thus, the administration has now come up with plans/policies to reverse the current trend. New nurses are being hired and offered competitive salaries for retention. Internal initiatives have been provided, such as referral bonuses, retention, and annual bonuses, a nursing/administration committee established as a bridge between nurses and the administration. Also, flexible schedules have been offered; nurses can now choose to work 12 or 8 hours, which was a significant contention point. In this manner, the issue of the nursing shortage was addressed at the current place of employment.
Higher salaries alone will not be enough to attract and retain nurses or mitigate nursing shortages. Nurses desire to be part of the decision-making process; nurses desire a stress-free suitable working environment. Improving nurses’ work environment may lead to lower job dissatisfaction, intention to leave, and burnout. Focusing on these nurse outcomes can be used as a strategy to retain nurses in the healthcare system. Addressing the challenges of poor work environments requires coordinated action from policymakers and health managers (Nantsupawat et al., 2017).
Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2020). Nursing shortage. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
Marshall, E., & Broome, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Nantsupawat, A., Kunaviktikul, W., Nantsupawat, R., Wichaikhum, O. A., Thienthong, H., & Poghosyan, L. (2017). Effects of nurse work environment on job dissatisfaction, burnout, intention to leave. International nursing review, 64(1), 91-98.
Discussion: Review of Current Healthcare Issues
If you were to ask 10 people what they believe to be the most significant issue facing healthcare today, you might get 10 different answers. Escalating costs? Regulation? Technology disruption?
These and many other topics are worthy of discussion. Not surprisingly, much has been said in the research, within the profession, and in the news about these topics. Whether they are issues of finance, quality, workload, or outcomes, there is no shortage of changes to be addressed.
In this Discussion, you examine a national healthcare issue and consider how that issue may impact your work setting. You also analyze how your organization has responded to this issue.
- Review the Resources and select one current national healthcare issue/stressor to focus on.
- Reflect on the current national healthcare issue/stressor you selected and think about how this issue/stressor may be addressed in your work setting.
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post a description of the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected for analysis, and explain how the healthcare issue/stressor may impact your work setting. Then, describe how your health system work setting has responded to the healthcare issue/stressor, including a description of what changes may have been implemented. Be specific and provide examples.
By Day 6 of Week 1
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who chose a different national healthcare issue/stressor than you selected. Explain how their chosen national healthcare issue/stressor may also impact your work setting and what (if anything) is being done to address the national healthcare issue/stressor.
Great job on your discussion post! I appreciate you highlighting the importance of the national healthcare issue on the nursing shortage. One aspect of the nursing shortage that can be overlooked, is the effects of a recession on the demand for nursing supply (Johnson et al., 2016). Variations in patient loads are difficult to predict, and hospitals are not paid for empty beds (Johnson et al., 2016). When patient loads are low, hospitals bear the costs for excess staffing (Johnson et al., 2016).
To minimize financial risk, some hospitals employ temporary nurses to substitute regularly employed RN positions (Johnson et al., 2016). It is my opinion that this factor it is not applicable to current events of the critical nursing shortage, in relation to the global pandemic COVID-19. However, as this factor is dependent upon economic status, I do believe it is something to consider, with the future uncertainty of our national economic state.
In further consideration of the nursing shortage, nurses comprise one of the largest sections of the health profession, and are a critical part of healthcare (Haddad et al., 2020). It is anticipated in 2022 that more registered nurse positions will be available than any other profession in the United States, with a projected 11 million additional nurses needed to avoid further shortage (Haddad et al., 2020). There are numerous issues of concern related to causes of the nursing shortage (Haddad et al., 2020).
Some reasons include, the aging population and aging work force, nurse burnout, violence in the healthcare setting, and staffing ratios (Haddad et al., 2020). However, this is not only a national issue. The nursing shortage is becoming an international problem, as there remains a lack of skilled nurses in Europe and Asia, as well as North America, which is ultimately a main factor in determining the world health policy (Marć et al., 2019). Some recommendations to recruit and retain nurses include, implementing mechanisms regulating salary, improving working and employment conditions, and incorporating technological and mobile innovations into the provision of lifelong learning (Marć et al., 2019).
Where I work is, the issue of nursing shortage is a prevalent issue. I appreciate the recommendations you made to help remedy this serious situation. I agree that improving the job environment as well as including nurses in the decision-making process are great strategies to implement. Have you experienced any difficulties with the nursing shortage issue at your work place?
Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2020). Nursing shortage. StatPearls
[Internet]. StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/
Johnson, W. G., Butler, R., Harootunian, G., Wilson, B., & Linan, M. (2016). Registered nurses:
The curious case of a persistent shortage. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48(4), 387-
Marć, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzyńska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2019). A nursing
shortage – A prospect of global and local policies. International Nursing Review, 66(1),
Great post discussing nursing shortage issues throughout our country. I also discussed this as my national stressor. I feel that a lot of facilities and health-care organizations are suffering due to a lack of staffing. Lack of staffing leads to deficits in patient care. You highlighted Covid-19 and nurse burnout. I feel this is something that is coming to light and showing health-care organizations just how hard nurses work and how much more they have poured into their work throughout this pandemic. The pandemic has exacerbated the levels of nurse burnout experienced throughout our country.
Nantsupawat et. al (2016) conducted a study related to nurses experiencing job dissatisfaction, burnout and intention to leave. In this study it was found that nurses who work in better environments experienced less dissatisfaction. You also cited this article and how to address this issue. I have to agree with the authors in saying policy makers and managers need to take action. The nursing shortage and experience of burnout are not new topics in the health-care world. Many articles have been posted throughout the years regarding the nursing shortage and providing ideas to address the issues. While researching, I discovered a fact sheet from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Rosseter (2017) states that enrollment into nursing programs is not meeting the expectations of the demand for RN and APRN prepared nurses. We must start by encouraging enrollment into nursing programs. Just like the national campaign to encourage girls to become interested in STEM, I feel there should be a national campaign to interest children and teens in health care and nursing.
Nantsupawat, A., Kunaviktikul, W., Nantsupawat, R., Wichaikhum, O., Thienthong, H., & Poghosyan, L. (2016, November 24). Effects of nurse work environment on job dissatisfaction, burnout, intention to leave. Retrieved December 05, 2020, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/inr.12342
Rosseter, R. (2017, May). Fact Sheet: Nursing Shortage. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://www.ic4n.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Nursing-Shortage-Factsheet-2017.pdf