1.There has been a nursing shortage in the US for a number of recent years with trends indicating continued decline. With the steady decrease in nurses and the increase in population in need of care, the shortage continues to rise (Harrington & Estes, 2008). Several factors that contribute to these projections is the decrease in RNs returning to the field because of long hours, limited pay, and physically demanding work (Bae, 2012). In addition, some RNs working in health care are not directly administering care for patients, preferring to work in different fields (Unruh & Fottler, 2005). Lastly, there is a decrease in schooling available for RNs because of limited academic programs, too few faculty staff, and a shortage of clinical sites (Liyakasa, 2008). The U.S. Health Department predicts this shortage to reach 29% by 2020 (U.S. DHHS, 2002). With the influx in population and growth of people needing care compounded with the decrease in care providers, the situation looks grim.
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My mother-in-law works for a hospital in St. Louis as a hospital administrator. She has expressed to me the negative impact nursing shortages has had on the delivery of patient care at her facility and the uncertainty in staffing that awaits them as more of their nurses reach retirement age. Currently, nurses at her facility are working long hours and have limited time off because of staff shortages. She claims that nurses who are overworked and tired can let that impact the quality of care the deliver to patients. Lastly, the nurses in her department are all approaching retirement in the next several years. With a shortage of nurses already, the potential for these providers to retire all at the same time can create even more serious staff shortages at her hospital.
2.) Nursing is one of the key factor to success in administration of quality health care services. The needs for nurses are increasing rapidly due to aging population, growing numbers of people with multiple chronic conditions, and the needs for health care services. The continued innovation and adoption of new diagnostic, treatment, and the expansion of health care insurance coverage to 32 million Americans which started in 2014 through Affordable Care Act in the already high demand of nurse may increase the gap between demand and supply of nurses in the United States. The problems facing nursing is that, the demand for nursing is higher than the supply due to some factors which are, Inability of the nursing schools to expand to the new demands and the intensity of the course plus the finances. The study published in 2008 by Dr. Linda Aiken and colleagues confirmed that level of education in nursing play a role in patient outcomes. The researches shows that every 10% increase in the proportion of BSN nurses on the hospital staff was associated with a 4% decrease in the risk of death. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment Projections 2012-2022 released in December 2013, Registering Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through2022. The RN the Bureau also projects the need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.05 million 2022. This shows that if not address properly, the demand for nurses will be greater than expectation which will affect patient care and will put more stress on the nurses.
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