Perspectives on Shortages of Nurses 

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Updated: Mar 28, 2023
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What we thought was going to be a profession that keeps on growing, the taste of reality tends to always reoccur. What once was a thriving career has steadily begun to struggle. Nursing within the Health Professions is a field of work that people tend to find themselves fascinated with the role they play, as well as harboring a degree in a honorable profession. Nurses provide comfort, security, emotional support, and use their knowledgeable skills to be an innovator. Nurses generally makes up the large proportion of the health workforce.

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That is why hospitals around the US are finding the need of nurses increasing while the need for new qualified graduate nurses are decreasing.

Due to the high demand for nurses, it attracts a lot of people who want to train to become a qualified nurse, however some nursing schools simply do not have the capacity to accommodate all applicants. In order to ensure nurses are gaining a sufficient knowledge, they will have to find the need for adequate professors with the right necessary experience. While most schools and programs need specific medical supplies as well with technological equipment, most schools do not have the funding. Nurses shortages plays an economic factor bigger than one may think. Many factors affect supply and demand, gross domestic product, and the financial condition of the hospital causing an economic shortage.

The ongoing phenomenon of the decline of nurses in the health workforce goes way back though the mids-1900’s. According to Jule Klotter, it was expected for the American Hospital Association that 13% of nurses in hospitals were not qualified with jobs, and an additional 450,000 nurses are expected in the next five years. Even though the number of licensed nurses increased 5.4% to 2.7 million in 2000 according to STII, since most nurses are approaching the time to retire and increasing demand for nurses is projected to be 20% below by the year 2020. As well as the number of nurses who are under the age of thirty has dropped 28.1%, however according to the Labor Department there is a predicted increase for nurses including 712,000 new jobs between 2010-2020.

The ongoing question is, so if there is supposed to be a drastic increase why is there still not available jobs for properly qualified nurses. Nursing deficits in the US is largely impacted by the fact that hospitals are comparatively paying nurses way too low, without taking into consideration on how much work they do especially under stressful conditions. Since the qualification of one becoming a nurse is more technical , you need to pass the NCLEX( National Council Licensure Examination) which is a very hard test to even pass and if you do, you later on have to pursue to get your masters to have clinical experience. So this also plays a role because most hospitals want employees who have knowledgeable experience, making it harder when it’s time for the retirement boom for most nurses.

Another issue contributing in nurses is the scarcity of faculty professions who are able to teach knowledgeable content and the funding and space. Most professors who are in this game are most likely getting to the point in their lives where they are beginning to retire. So now most universities and schools have to depict whether or not who is qualified or not to teach upcoming qualified nurses with valuable resource. On the other hand that is not just what schools have to worry about, it’s more if can my school fund these programs and give them the paper microscopes, medical equipment and other clinical equipment to help them gain experience. So there is a plethora of important factors that play a huge role on the ongoing problem of shortage of nurses.

In a free market economy the law of supply and demand is how supply and demand are related to each other by an inverse relationship and how that relationship can affect the price of a good or service. However, the labor of supply will always keep up with the demand as time goes so why does this not imply to the shortages of nurses. Economic downturns diminished the nursing labour market causing negative outcomes, leading to a shortage that may or not extend to a recession. Certain institutions and health care workforces are financially limited to finance health professions especially nurses who are susceptible for severe budget costs, causing a high demand for nurses but limited supply of them.

Economists have evaluated and they came to the ideology that the nursing labour market is countercyclical. It is a fiscal policy which means it takes the opposite approach of things, so reducing spending and raising taxes during a boom period, while during a recession you will increase spending and cut taxes. In this case regarding nurses in the workforce, the demand for nurses does not decline in fact it is at its prime during a time in a recession. Due to fiscals policies and economic downturns an increase in supply and a decrease demand leads to decrease labor force participation which may lead to a decrease in enrollment into nursing programs, therefore leading facilities as hospitals to prevail longer periods of declining wages. With such a decline in wages it might advance as a burden on the nursing workforce forcing them to either lose their job, end up in a hardship and just simply increasing the shortage rate of nurses.

Not only is there potentially shortage of nurses there are effects to it, and yes it affected by the economy supply and demand but it also has a big impact on the patients themselves. There has been evidence observed and proven how the lower number of nurses on call can impact complications and a failure to rescue due to the patent and nurse ratio. Nurses usually take on a lot of long hours typically under very stressful conditions causing resulting in fatigue which is prone to medication errors that may end up making one lose their licence. Another reason how shortages have a negative impact inside the hospitals is that is proven about 92% of hospitals face overcrowding of patients, 80% was reported that all of the beds are full throughout half of the day, while 81% patients are waiting on gurynes, and 75% of patients who has waited to see a physician, this usually lead to death , and permanent disability.

More than half of the time nurses voice are not heard and usually ignored, but if they unite and other help professions working in the health workforce speak up there could be a change brought about. With the predictions on the short or long term duration of the shortage among nurses strategies should be implemented by the employers to solve the issue of aging in the workforce, low unemployment, low wages, not enough funding for programs, all compounding the usual factors that contribute to a shortage. Short term and long term solutions regarding this issue is hospitals increasing their financial incentives, taking advantage of the advancement of technology, creating a better and safer working environment, hospitals partnering with nursing schools and programs. Even though most classrooms in schools requires certain equipments formlabs but if using technology for accelerated learning programs to help save money most school cannot afford to fund. Hospitals partnering with nursing can really help the shortage of nurses because they could help replace the faculty making sure there hiring inadequately. There is no secret but going to nursing schools are very expensive and if there was was a way to recognize the need to make additional funding easier making it more affordable, so students can finish the program and enter into the workforce faster.

Nurses are the largest proportion of professions around the world that makes up mostly of the health workforce, but they tend to not get the same level of importance as a physician might do. It is not a secret that there is ever-lasting shortage if nurses in hospitals ever since way back in the 1900s. The high demand for nurses makes it very competitive job to enter due to the low wages, getting into the nursing program is very selective, not enough hospitals and schools have the fundings. Because of all this this affects the economy supply and demand of the labour of nurses, and leads to a negative impact on the patients. However there are changes that can be made to help this issue and hopefully have a short term effect on shortages of nurses either by bringing both hospitals and nursing schools together to help with finding the right faculty member with right knowledge base to ensure students will have experience.

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Perspectives on shortages of nurses . (2021, Oct 16). Retrieved from