Nurses shortage is a growing and controversial problem throughout the United Stats, and it affects both private and governmental health care providers. Specialists have been warning from the crisis “the emerging nursing shortage is very real and very different from any experienced in the past. Hospitals, long term care facilities and other health care providers across the nation are reporting problems filling nursing positions”, (O’Sullivan, Ann 2001).
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2007), reported that the USA “is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows”. The nursing shortage doesn’t stop at the civilian hospitals; it has been extended to the military sectors, the Veterans Affairs statistics told that: “Between 1996 and 2002 the number of full-time- equivalent RNs went down by 8. 4 percent. During that same time period, the number of “unique patients“ treated at the VA went up by 55 percent. ” (Converso, Ann 2003).
She added “we are caring for more patients, who are often sicker, with fewer nurses at the bedside”. What makes the shortage rapidly grows is that, while nurses are leaving their jobs, or retire from, there are no same numbers come to join the work. Converso (2003) alerted: “as nurses leave the VA system, new nurses are not joining the VA at comparable rates, and patient load is increasing. In its own report, “A Call to Action,“ the VA states that it must replace up to 5. 3 percent of its RN workforce per year to keep up with RNs retiring.
By all accounts, that is not happening. ”. Some nurses’ organizations regard the problem as the main “Core issue” (American Nurses Association, 2007). What is Influencing the Shortage? A lot of researches and congressional testimonies mentioned the factors whom influencing the nurses shortage: (1) The stressful working environment of health care. (2) No appreciation for experienced nurses. (3) Nurses are not involved in decision-making. (4) Unsafety of the work environment. (5) The increasing of the loads and work’s hours while the numbers of patients are increasing too.
(6) The dropping of the wage’s rates. Korcok, Milan (2002) said: 56% of registered nurses said their main reason for wanting to leave the field was to find work that is less stressful and physically demanding; 22% wanted more regular hours, while 18% wanted higher pay and 14% better advancement opportunities. He added: Mary Foley, immediate past president of the American Nurses Association, thinks the fundamental problem is that nurses “just don’t feel valued. They don’t want to work in an unsatisfactory environment.
” (Korcok, Milan 2002). Ann Converso (2003) noticed that: “staff nurses, who play a pivotal role as caregivers at their VA facilities, say their experience, knowledge and expertise are not being respected”. She told a health committee in the congress that “some VA facilities, like their counterparts outside government, have responded to this staffing crisis by mandating overtime that is unsafe for patients and nurses, forcing nurses to work understaffed or floating RNs to different units without proper training”.
She also added “Nurses are functioning at staffing levels that are unsafe at best, downright dangerous at worst. ” (Converso, Ann 2003). Analysis of census data shows that between 1994 and 1997 RN wages across all employment settings dropped by an average of 1. 5 percent per year (in constant 1997 dollars). Between 1993 and 1997, the average wage of an RN employed in a hospital dropped by roughly a dollar an hour (in real terms). RN employment in the hospital sector reversed to the negative, dropping most precipitously in areas of the country that experienced high managed care saturation.
Many providers eliminated positions for nursing middle managers and executive level staff. Hospital employment for unlicenced aides, however, increased by an average of 4. 5 percent a year between 1994 and 1997 (O’Sullivan, Ann 2001). The Economic Effect of the Trend: The nurses shortage has its economic critical affects on the health care providers, we can take the ABC’s hospital as a case study, as it’s one of the health care provider whom face the same problem in United States.
In their paper titled “ABC’s Nurse Shortages Reaching Crisis Levels” Gonzalez, Sergio and Bradley, Darlene, (2006). Said “ABC’s Hospital’s commitment to provide quality care to our patients is being diminished due to the facility’s inability to provide an adequate nursing workforce. This ABC report is based on several factors contributing to the nursing shortages”. He recognized that “ABC relies heavily on the services of nurses. The largest groups of health care providers are the nurses, but numbers are depleting at an alarming rate” (Gonzalez, Sergio 2006).
What the two researchers said means that the entire work of the hospital is affected by nurses shortage, what means the health services provided by the hospitable can be damaged, the revenue will decrease, and rich patients can go outside the States to get the treatment that they need. The Role of the Parties: The government, business and society have their own roles on influencing the phenomena. Government’s role: Federal and states governments have an essential role on influencing the shortage. O’Sullivan, Ann (2001). Mentioned: Just ten years ago we were emerging from the nursing shortage of the late 1980’s.
Nursing workforce issues had caught the attention of the highest reaches of the Reagan and Bush Administrations and the HHS Secretary’s Commission on Nursing had recently released recommendations on methods to improve the work environment for nurses. Very few of these workplace initiatives were actually implemented What O’Sullivan mentioned illustrates that the reaction of the government was not quick as required, and when the commission released it’s recommendations, the government didn’t play its role in implementing those recommendations, as well as possible, in addition, why the government waited till the problem go more worse?
Business’s role: The Business and has an important role influencing this problem: “Among the many nurses who have left the direct patient care setting to seek “more regular hours, “many now work for managed care plans and insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms, health care technology and medical device vendors, and consulting firms, among others. These positions often offer nurses the opportunity for professional stimulation as well as a regular business week (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations).
As previous researches and testimony illustrated, nurses whom work for hospitals don’t get the same advantages, and they suffer from overtime work, overload work, no (or note enough) appreciation for their work and experiences, the main resource for supporting nurses education and training is the government not the business. Society’s role: The society has increasingly needs more health care, but it doesn’t take steps to help nursing profession.
All these medical developments have been a wonderful asset to all people seeking and needing care. People today are living much longer than before. The counties aging population continues to rise and the growing baby-boomers are in more need for regularly health care visits (Gonzalez, Sergio and Bradley, Darlene, 2006). While the is increasing, and the crisis rising, people look at the problem as audience, and they leave the nurses and their organizations fight for rescuing this vital job.
The Future of the trend: The future of nursing shortage is going to be worse, as it appears in tens or hundreds of articles and research wrote about that topic. The problem started in 1980s and it didn’t be solved, The lack of young people entering nursing has resulted in a steady increase in the average age of the working nurse. Today, the average working RN is over 43 years old. The national average is projected to continue to increase before peaking at age 45. 5 in 201 0.
At that time, large numbers of nurses are expected to retire and the total number of nurses in America will begin a steady decline. At the same time, the need for complex nursing services will only increase. America’s demand for nursing care is expected to balloon over the next 20 years due to the aging of the population, advances in technology and various economic and policy factors. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks the occupation of nursing as having the seventh highest projected job growth in the United States (O’Sullivan, Ann 2001).
After about 6 years of O’Sullivan’s word in the congress, we hear that: “In the January/February 2007 issue of Health Affairs, Dr. David I. Auerbach and colleagues estimated that the U. S. shortage of registered nurses (RNs) will increase to 340,000 by the year 2020. Though this is significantly less than earlier projections for a shortfall of 800,000 RNs which was made back in 2000, the study authors note that the nursing shortage is still expected to increase by three times the current rate over the next 13 years.
The study is titled Better Late Than Never: Workforce Supply Implications of Late Entry into Nursing (American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2007). Really the tells the prediction’s numbers has gone down, as some expertise see, but it still in high level, if suggested that each nurse takes care of 3 or 4 patients that means there are about 1,360,000 patient will not find any or less care, and the load will be more heavy on nurses, and we can remember that, it’s one of the factors that makes nurse leave there job.
The impact of that load of work, and the pad conditions that nurses find in their jobs, made them warn there chedlrens to not be nurses: “Almost 55% of the nurses surveyed would not recommend the nursing profession as a career for their children or friends, and 23% expressed that they would actively discourage someone close to them from entering the profession”( Office of the Personeels, New York State Education Department, 2001). References O’Sullivan, Ann (2001).
Keeping Government Nurses on the Job, FDCH Congressional Testimony. Committee: Senate Governmental Affairs, Database: MasterFILE Premier. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2007, March). Fact Sheet: Nursing Shortage. Converso, Ann, (2003). Impact of nursing shortage on VA hospital, FDCH Congressional Testimony, Committee: House Veterans Affairs, Database: MasterFILE Premier. American Nurses Association (2007). “Core Issues” paper. Korcok, Milan, (2002).
“Perfect storm” brewing in US because of nursing shortage CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal; 11/12/2002, Vol. 167 Issue 10, p1159 1159, 2/5p. Gonzalez, Sergio, University of Phoenix, and Bradley, Darlene, RN, PhDc, MSN, MAOM , (2006). “ABC’s Nurse Shortages Reaching Crisis Levels”. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, (No date). Office of the Personnels, New York State Education Department, (2001). the meeting of the New York State Board of Regents