NRS-440VN Topic 1 DQ 1 nursing shortage causes

Topic 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.

 

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According to Whitney (2018), the American Association for Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has identified many factors that have contributed to the nursing shortage:

  • 55% of RNs were 50 years or older in 2013, meaning many RNs will be retiring in the near future and at that rate, nursing school enrollments are not increasing fast enough to compensate for the demand
  • There is a nursing faculty shortage which has caused the restrictions on nursing program enrollments
  • Patients demographics are changing, people are living to be older and have more complex heath needs which indicates the need for more nurses
  • Due to insufficient staffing, job satisfaction is reduced, and nurses are getting burnt out – these stress levels are causing more nurses to leave the profession
  • High nurse retirement and turnover rates are directly impacting access to health care

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) established a goal that 80% of RNs are to obtain a BSN by 2020. The expectation of this goal was that the educational system would be seamless from one degree to the next while in turn, increasing diversity of students would create a workforce which was prepared to meet the demands of diverse population (Whitney, 2018). According to Boivin (2017), the profession is a ways off from meeting that goal, the number of BSN prepared nurses has doubled and now exceeds the number of ADN prepared nurses, so progress is being made. Nurses are encouraged to take this next step as some employers are offering incentives for their RNs to further their education. In addition, more hybrid or online RN to BSN completion programs are being offered which provide convenience to their students, allowing them to continue working full-time while completing their education from home.

 

References:

Boivin, J. (2017). Can nursing meet the 80/2020 goal? American Nurse. Retrieved from https://www.myamericannurse.com/can-nursing-meet-802020-goal/

Whitney, S. (2018). The future of nursing in an evolving health care system. Grand Canyon University (Ed). Trends in Heath Care: A Nursing Perspective. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs440vn/trends-in-health-care-a-nursing-perspective/v1.1/#/chapter/1

 

Topic 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.

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The Healthcare system today in the US faces many challenges and obstacles, from technology to patient age. But few of the challenges facing in the US healthcare system are as serious as the nationwide nursing shortage. The lack of qualified nurses in the workforce has huge implications for patient care across America, especially as more people need nursing care and the demand for nurses grows all around the country(WGU,2020).

There are several elements that are contributing to the nursing shortage which includes growing Baby Boomer populations. As the largest generation in the country continues to age, there are more Baby Boomer nurses that are retiring, and they simply are not being replaced quickly enough by new nurses. Secondly, advancements in modern medical care that prolong life. While this is a good thing, it also means that people are living much longer than before and needing more care as they age. The nursing workforce simply is not large enough to handle the older people who are living longer due to better health care. Thirdly, lack of current resources to train new nurses. Insufficient numbers of nurse faculty and classroom space are leading to many nursing student applicants being turned away. Finally, many nurses leaving the field. Because there is a shortage of incoming nurses, there is a high demand for current RNs. Many RNs find they are scheduled many hours with lots of patients to cover for the shortages. This can lead to more stress and lower levels of job satisfaction and can drive nurses away from the profession (WGU,2020).

One of the solutions to overcome the nursing shortage is to use an onboarding program to make new nurses feel welcome. Studies and surveys show that community, group cohesion, and nurse autonomy reduce employee turnover among nurses, and nurses who feel they have a sense of community at work report higher levels of job satisfaction. When hospitals bring in new nurses, making these nurses feel welcome with an onboarding program can help encourage employee retention. A good onboarding program can ease new nurses into the job, so they are less overwhelmed in the first few weeks at a new job. A good example is to avoid assigning new nurses to problem patients right away. Another example is to consider events that help new nurses get to know current nurses to encourage a sense of community. Nurses that feel like they are welcome, and part of a community not only stick with the job, but they are also more likely to bring along their friends (Parker.S,2020).

WGU(2020)Why is there a nursing shortage? Retrieved from: https://www.wgu.edu/blog/why-is-there-nursing-shortage2001.html

Parker.S (2020) 5 Creative Solutions for the Nursing Shortage. Retrieved from: https://www.shiftwizard.com/solutions-nursing-shortage/

 

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