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NRS 440VN Week 1 DQ 1
Discuss the events that have contributed (or will continue to contribute) to the nursing shortage, or that contribute to a shortage in a region or specialty. Discuss at least one way that the nursing profession is currently working toward a resolution of this problem. In replies to peers, offer different examples of how the nursing shortage has been addressed in your state, community, or specialty area.
The nursing shortage has been around for many years and has yet to be resolved. This shortage plays a major role in the quality of patient care in the United States as well as other countries. There are lots of factors that contribute to the shortage, including growing demands on staff by a continuously increasing number of patients and decreasing funding for nurses to go back to school and advance their education. However, most importantly, the declining professional status of nurses and the lack of prestige have contributed to the current shortage.
The nursing shortage is a continuing problem in
The nurse staffing shortage is a problem that has been around for years and will continue to grow as the aging senior population increases and the new health care reform takes effect.  As the needs of the nursing field are expanding, there are fewer professionals available to provide these services.  There are many factors that contribute to the dwindling number of nurses available to provide care including an aging workforce, low starting salaries, high stress levels, and strenuous working conditions.  Several steps have been taken by many groups to help combat this problem; such as increasing recruitment rates and offering more flexible employment options which include part-time work, flexible shifts, and scheduling around school schedules.
Nurse-to-patient ratios have proved to be inefficient and difficult to regulate. This is due to the fact that staffing requirements vary from shift to shift and from day to day. These fluctuations can severely limit or detrimentally affect patient care. Another factor affecting the adequacy of nurse staffing is the shortage of qualified nursing personnel. In 10% of hospital units surveyed in 1999, there were not enough nurses on staff. Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals enter the field of registered nursing, but only a small percentage (10%) are qualified and interested in advancement within the profession. As a result of these two factors (high turnover rate coupled with low career advancement opportunities), many qualified nurses are leaving the profession and other potential candidates are choosing other career paths that offer more flexibility and compensation.
The United States is currently experiencing a nursing shortage, especially among registered nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook (BLS, 2011), registered nursing is expected to grow faster than average through 2012 due to an aging population, an increase in chronic diseases, and an emphasis on preventative health care. The BLS also reported that “the number of patients hospitalized for infectious diseases and for chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes will continue to rise substantially…over the 2002-12 decade (p. 324).”