Please respond with a paragraph to the following question, add citations and references:
The profession of nursing is one of the largest groups of the health care field in the United States. However, over the last several years vacancy rates for nurses have continued to rise. Despite this fact, the demand for nurses continues to grow for acute care and out into the communities. The demand for nurses will continue to increase due to our aging population, drug epidemic and poor healthcare systems. This calls for nurses to obtain a higher education for patients with various chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, respiratory diseases etc. The patient protection and affordable care act (ACA) has opened the doors to healthcare access in numbers unpredicted, further increasing the demand for more nurses (American Organization of Nurse Executives, 2000). There are multiple and countless factors that contribute to the nursing shortage: low salaries, poor work environment, high patient ratios, heavy workloads, work place bullying and the list could go on. Due to this shortage nurses often work long hours under stressful conditions, which can result in fatigue, injury and job dissatisfaction. This type of work environment has caused nurses to make mistakes and medical errors. The quality of patient care suffers, and mortality rates rise.
The profession of nursing is currently working to solve the nursing shortage by subsidized funding, wage increases, hiring minority and foreign nurses and offering campaigns to improve the professions image (American Organization of Nurse Executives, 2000). The funds are used to increase nursing education, nursing faculty as well as students. Higher wages could affect recruitment as well as retention of RN’s already in the workforce. An increase in minorities could boost the supply of RN’s and improve the delivery of culturally sensitive care. Nurses are encouraged to join campaigns to communicate about the positive aspects of nursing and to promote the profession.
During the last eleven years of critical care nursing I personally have seen many staff leave for various reasons. Many lefts to travel the world of nursing, some left due to poor pay and others left to seek better benefits. I order to retain nurses the facility must have strong leadership, keep nurses involved in the decision making, show respect to the frontline staff and stay competitive with other facilities.
American Organization of Nurse Executives (2000). Perspectives on the Nursing Shortage: A Blueprint for Action. Monograph Series. Washington, D. C.