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Causes and Impacts of Nurse and Physician Shortages

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 1806 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Nursing makes up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce in the United. Nurses spend most of their time providing direct care to patients.  Nursing demands are increasing in every day in hospital and community setting. The nursing shortage is the biggest issue in healthcare. Nursing regulation is provided by government oversight through administrative and legislative bodies within each state (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2016). Patient care depends on nursing dedication and compassion.

  1. The nursing shortage in the healthcare system is relevant and this problem is the fact that nurses in the baby bomber generation are starting to retire. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the number of available nursing jobs is expected to grow by about 16% by 2024 (Swiftwizard, 2017). The shortage of nurses makes it difficult to run facility while balancing patient care and creating a good work culture and outcomes. That way employ retention is very important. Some solutions for the nursing shortage are increasing financial aid for nursing students in nursing school, the proper welcoming program for the new hire nurses that can ease new nurses into the jobless overwhelmed, and helping the new nurses get to know current nurses. Another solution that keeps nurses that healthcare facility has to provide is long-term training and professional development skills.  That can motivate the nurses and they will accomplish promotion into innovative and managerial places. Nurses always need new knowledge and skills, because the health system is changing every day to keep up to date on knowledge. Another step to be offered is incentives for referrals, monetary compensation, and bonuses can encourage nurses to retain and refer to other nurses. Offering altered schedules for nurses that better accommodate both their personal and professional needs. Other option can be let the nurses choose the shift with their ability such as part-time shifts, eight-hour shifts, and 12-hour shifts that can be better accommodate the unique needs of nurses. This flexibility in shift lengths and timing can give nurses the flexibility to choose options best for them, which promotes greater satisfaction and wellness.
  2. Nursing shortage not only nationwide it is in global wise. There are many reasons such as personal and professionals. Without skillful nurses unable to provide holistic care who need care for individual patients and the population as a whole. Nursing is a distinct scientific field and an autonomous profession whose skilled professionals save lives and improve patient outcomes every day in a wide variety of settings (truth about nursing). Other hands nursing shortages can cause poor work performances that can bring a significant negative impact on patient outcomes, the nursing shortage can take public lives, and impairing the health and wellbeing of many peoples. In 1990, shortage due to demands of managed care, so they cut the nurse’s position and care facilities in difficult financial positions. Many hospital decision makers, unable to bring their voice that value of nursing in public. Another reason for the shortage is the only the majority of women are the nurses, only 6% of the male are in the nursing profession. 

Lack of professional resources, many nurses who could no longer face their growing burnout and they are unable to meet their professional responsibilities to their patient. Nursing about one-fifth of the national total had chosen not to work in nursing. Nowadays the nursing profession is increasing in interest in nursing in the United States, but still not sufficient.  Another issue of the shortage is that aging nursing workforce another word is the baby boomer generation starts to retire, and health care delivery system and technology system is fast growing which makes a more complex system to provide care. Unfulfilled vacancy due to lack of nurses. This kind of shortage may occur because the needed nurses do not exist. Lack of funding to finance nursing positions, Nurses faculty and educators’ shortages and educators earn only three-fourths of what faculty in other academic disciplines make. Inadequate awareness of some decision-makers that an inadequate quantity of skilled nursing is needed for providing science-based care to achieve better outcomes.  Finally, the nurse education and empowerment shortage is another important reason for the nursing shortage. However, the lack of nursing empowerment is a major problem in the nation.

  1. After completion of my bachelor of nursing, as a nurse, might change my roles as manager, or assistant manager that time if nurses’ crisis happened I will try to solve as possible utilizing best of my knowledge. Thus inadequate staffing provides a greater level of stress and increases workloads. That can cause job dissatisfaction and end up leaving the positions. Some possible measures, such as provide nursing staff to periodically professional and skill training, help nurses to develop the skills and abilities needed to prevent shortage or turnover. In addition support from the management, praise, bonus, additional incentives and provide nonnursing staff who able to provide basic care under the supervision of nursing. Word clerk who able to answer a phone call, print necessary paperwork such as build the new admission chart, make ready for discharge or transfer paperwork. That can save nurses time. Nurses spend much of their time searching for medications, doctors, equipment, and completing redundant paperwork.  I would establish better and more efficient systems of delivering nursing care must be developed and more positive work environment for every department who is experiencing a nursing shortage. Other measures that can be incorporated to ensure the quality of care for patients and prevent nurse tiredness or burnout, is to make sure that the nurse-patient ratio is safe. In addition, always take feedback positive from the nurses and accommodating their feedback and implement into our daily practice.  Developing effective communication skills towards staff, providing a flexible schedule can make some staff retain in the facility.  Measure incorporate that identifying the best practice evidence base on dealing with shortages is one effective way to keeping the nursing staff.
  2. Nurses are playing a vital role in supporting and realizing the vision for health care in the United States (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2016). Proper staffing able to prevent nurse burnout that would be in better patient care that politician or lawmakers are assuming that of more propose safe staffing legislation. Different state has different policy and programs. Nursing regulation is the governmental oversight provided for nursing practice in each state. The nursing profession is regulated by legislative bodies due to these professionals can pose to the risk of harm to the public. 

All nursing staff have to work under the scope of practice. For public safety, each state has a board of nursing, and the board of nursing authorize nurse practice act and establish rules, regulations, policy, and responsibilities according to the state.  I am from California, that California is historic first-in-the-nation safe staffing ratios, which sponsored by the California Nurses Association,  that took almost thirteen years to accomplish and implement. It has been in effect since January 2004 despite continued efforts of the hospital industry to overturn the law. Safe RN ratios have been proven to improve the quality of care and nurse recruitment and retention in California hospitals (National nurses united). Ultimately they cannot assign more than safe staffing ratio. If someone sick call staffing will replace another nurse or charge nurse will have patient until replace nurse arrive, they cannot add more patient then the ratio. In California shortage of nurses does not really affect the effect the nurses who’re working due to the safe staffing ratio. According to Columbia journal District of Columbia is currently considering bills that would require hospitals to maintain minimum nurse staffing levels (GE healthcare, 2016). Many hospitals try to optimize their workflows and patient scheduling to ensure there are enough nurses on staff at the right times so the vulnerable population will get efferent care on proper time. a nursing shortage is only going to further complicate matters. Nurse’s shortages are one of the challenging issues that many healthcare facilities are struggling for many nurses to deliver quality care when they are short staffed during peak patient times, and safe staffing legislation may help mitigate this issue. However safe staffing legislation can assist to prevent patients and hospitals from feeling the negative effects from nursing shortage (Healthcare staffing best practice).


In this module basically, we talked about the nursing shortage in the health care system, a series of events that led to the nursing shortage such as past present and future. In addition future role as a nurse or health care employee in the midst of a nursing shortage crisis. As nurse leader or manager there are different methods to solve the problem and the role of legislature contributing to safe staffing during a shortage, California is the first state that wins the safe patient ratio legislation, which is very helpful for all California nurses, and job satisfaction and able to provide safe and holistic patient care with good outcome.


  • 5 Creative Solutions for the Nursing Shortage. (2018, August 07). Retrieved from https://www.shiftwizard.com/solutions-nursing-shortage/
  • Buchan, J., & Aiken, L. (2008, December). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2858425/
  • National Campaign for Safe RN-to-Patient Staffing Ratios. (2018, April 13). Retrieved from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/ratios
  • Safe staffing legislation aims to alleviate nurse shortage. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.apihealthcare.com/blog/healthcare-staffing-best-practices/safe-staffing-legislation-aims-to-alleviate-nurse-shortage
  • What is the nursing shortage and why does it exist? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.truthaboutnursing.org/faq/nursing_shortage.html


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