Addressing the Nurse Shortage to Improve the Quality of Patient Care

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Updated: Mar 28, 2023
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One of the main reasons that makes patient safety goals difficult to reach is because of the shortage of nurses. The nursing profession is a importance compared to other medical healthcare jobs because of their interaction with the patients throughout their journey that they have in front of them. Not only do nurses provide patient care, but they educate patients and the public about health conditions and also give advice and support to patients and families. There are a number of factors that contribute to the nursing shortage, staffing shortages are impacting the stress level of nurses and impacting their job satisfaction.

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The medical field can decrease the shortage by increasing pay and working less hours, ease the burnout that nurses are continually going through, and making the work environment more enjoyable which will help patients get the right kind of care that they deserve.

The author includes a shortage of nurses. As a result, increasing the pay with less hours working could increase the amount of nurses. For example, the author states “to combat the nursing shortage efforts to promote nurses have been successful.” Nurses are willing to put more effort in where the demand is higher. If they are getting paid as they would be getting paid working less hours then when they would get a promotion it would make them appreciative. Also by rising the pay it could help to those who are going into finding their career, which more students from school would see the pay and want to go into the profession. The following lines “higher pay for nurses will allow expansion of nurse education and will ensure there will be a supply of nurses now and in the future.”

Hospitals would chose to offer higher wages then they would be able to attract more nurses to fill in the spots that are most needed. To illustrate this idea the author states “many nurses are able to find both higher salaries and preferable work schedules in other job offers.” Other jobs offer more money than what they are making for what they went to school for. Many are leaving to go to other job offers because of the high demand being given to take. With that being said they overall just move on because of the money and it’s honestly not what they would prefer to do. Not only will the pay help decrease the shortage but having benefits along the way that will help decrease the nurse burn out will also have an impact.

The author mentions how easing the nursing burnout could benefit the nurses to want to help decrease the shortage. For instance in the text it states, “nurses with longer hours, more work and time needed to care for patients leads to stressful nurses.” Having nurses over working will push them out of the hospitals to go to offices or to other health settings with better conditions. If they are short staff then the nurses that are available work overtime to help people in all conditions. That means that the nurses are working so much harder with more patients than normal. In a study it showed that nurses work through their breaks. Breaks are needed for nurses to help them be alert in all ways possible. The description “ studies have found that the nurse burnout can impact patients.” Not only does the nurses only take care of patients but they chart and have to document information due to their patients. Nurses struggle by saying “ they do not have all the time to care for them.” 

For instance if the nurses come to work tired, they will not be giving it their all to those that need them. A negative effect that can hurt the nurses is the patients noticing lack of effort due to frustration. The author says “teaching individuals nurse burn out skills is a big prevention.” You can tell when a nurse is fed up. Some things to look for is when fighting with their co-workers occurs or when they leave early and take shifts off. Those nurses are the ones who need the most help of how to cope. Another thing that could help nurses be engaged is if they are aware of decision making. It would have a better understanding of the problems that are being faced. A big thing that could help is separating home life and work life from each other. When nurses are home that is their time to relax and forget about what happend at work that day.

However, some people believe that nurses went into the medical field for a passion and to help treat the patients who are in need. “ Many look into nursing because of the benefits such as money but once they see how difficult it really is, is when many start to exit.” 

Becoming a nurse has to come from your heart. To just go into it for the benefits will not make you happy. Also going into the medical field is a lot of responsibility, such as medicine that is given to patients. The author states “The money could be better but it is not what it gives you, it’s the reward like saving a life.” No matter what is going on in the profession, no one should give up on what they picked to do because of the decrease in the pay. As the population continues to age, the more nurses are needed to care. A big thing is that if nurses would stay, there would not be a shortage to be blamed for the money. At the end it will eventually rise to what they want it to be. The author makes a statement “nursing as a profession or a passion.” 

Many nurses go into nursing for the money while others go through it for the care that each patient deserves. Not only are nurses making it difficult for themselves but they are hurting their patients mentally. Though many people believe that it is not about the money , making a difference in the job satisfaction will help benefit the shortage in a positive way. A more enjoyable working environment will help nurses have a better life and working setting. For example, “most nurses show enthusiasm for their chosen profession.”

That is not always the case, nurses go through a lot including their home life. Also life happens and a tough loss, personal challenges and long work schedules can have a toll on them also. For instance “ in nursing there are a lot of ways to make it feel a little more comfortable to work as a nurse.” A couple ways to help be more open minded about nursing could be journaling, having a non-nursing day. If being a nurse is difficult nurses take a day one day at a time. The description “ if nurses work setting is unhealthy and toxic the negative distractions and the emotional exhaustion interferes with the ability to do what they love.” 

When patients are ill they get better attention with a nurse that is willing to care and have a compassion with it. Some might just have a bad day that causes some distraction to what they need to be worrying about because other people that they are helping might be having a worse day. Overall, the shortage of nurses has a big impact on a lot of responsibilities needed to help the ones in need.

From this analysis, it is clear that there are a number of factors leading to the nursing shortage, the staffing are being impacted by the stress level that is occurring and their job satisfaction is not at the highest point. The decrease of demand to increase the amount of nurses, easing the burnout and making the work environment more enjoyable to make the shortage increase. Paying nurses well and training in a short amount of time could be a possible solution to the shortage. There are lots of benefits going into the nursing profession but right now there is a shortage and the only way to help decrease it, is to help contribute. 

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Addressing The Nurse Shortage To Improve The Quality Of Patient Care. (2021, Oct 16). Retrieved from