To ensure that a healthcare facility meets the level of service quality that it claims, the extent of nurse staffing must be appropriate. In turn, the shortage of health care workers, particularly, the rise in the number of patients per nurse, it likely to entail a range of adverse consequences for the quality of care (This & Serratt, 2018). Therefore, addressing the issue at hand and considering the ways in which the problem can be resolved should be deemed as a high-priority issue.
Observed in a local acute care setting as well as in a global scale, the issue of health care workers’ shortage needs to be studied closer and amended respectively since it may entail deleterious effects both for patients and nurses. By creating education opportunities for student nurses with the help of a program and partnering with medical schools and universities, health care organizations will be able to address the issue of nurse shortage by increasing the supply of highly qualified experts.
Shortage of Nurses: Issue Description
The problem of nurse shortage has been accumulating in the target setting for a while, starting with a slight increase in nurse turnover, and quickly escalating to the scale of a major concern. Remarkably, the issue of nurse shortage has aggravated with the emergence of COVID-19, which requires the unceasing support of each patient and, therefore, increases the extent of workload for nurses exponentially (Tyczkowski & Reilly, 2017).
As a result of the rising workload, the levels of stress, and the range of risks that nurses may face, the enthusiasm in applying for nurse-related jobs seems to have been stifled (Tyczkowski & Reilly, 2017). The observed outcome has led to a drop in the quality of care, with an increasing number of patients having their needs unattended (This & Serratt, 2018). The described outcome is also visible in the selected health care setting of acute care, where patients require consistent and unceasing support form nurses due to being incapacitated.
The problem of nurse shortage has been examined in a number of studies, with a range of solutions having been provided. The use of nurse preparation techniques that allow controlling the extent and quality of competencies that a nurse graduate gains is one of the most reasonable answers to the question of how nurse shortage can be addressed (Tyczkowski & Reilly, 2017). The described option also allows health care organizations to ensure that the nursing experts graduating from the partner institution possess the skills and knowledge required to address specific cases and health issues that are urgent for the facility in question (This & Serratt, 2018).
Namely, Tyczkowski and Reilly (2017) suggest that DNP preparation must be offered to nurses as a crucial part of the learning process so that they could be useful in the context of specific health care facilities where nurse shortage is especially drastic (Tyczkowski & Reilly, 2017). Although the proposed solution seems to be sufficiently legitimate, it can only be applied on a small scale since ensuring that every nursing organization partners with an academic institution to ensure regular supply of nurses is not quite practical.
However, the issue of nurse understaffing can also be considered form other perspectives. For instance, the paper by This and Serratt (2018) offers to look at the issue form the angle of employee satisfaction. Specifically, the authors insist that, by creating favorable and comfortable conditions for nurses, one will remove the problem of nurse shortage and contribute to nurses being actively interested in and enthusiastic about hospital job perspectives. The study speculates that the issues such as salary rates, the extent of workload, and organizational policies shape nurses’ perception of their work to the greatest extent (This & Serratt, 2018). Therefore, by improving the specified factors, one is likely to increase the levels of nurse motivation and, therefore, the staffing rates within nursing facilities.
Overall, the available strategies for controlling nurse staffing rates and removing the problem of nurse shortage revolve around two key ideas. First, the opportunities for improving the workplace environment of the healthcare facility should be considered. As soon as the basic needs of the nursing staff are met by making the workplace setting more comfortable, opportunities for professional development ad career advancement should be regarded as an option (This & Serratt, 2018). Thus, nursing organizations will be able to recruit more staff. Finally, DNP nurse training for graduates and the chances for gaining nursing experience in local facilities by creating partnerships between the latter and higher education institutions should be viewed as an option.
The problem of nurse shortage has been an issue on the U.S. healthcare setting for a while, yet the issue can be managed by offering education and career opportunities to staff members. Moreover, increasing the number of nurses to reduce the workload and prevent burnouts must be considered a critical step in handling the issue of nurse shortage. Once the proposed solutions are implemented, an increase in nurse-patient ratio is expected to be observed in the healthcare setting, causing an increase in service quality and the number of positive patient outcomes.
This, K. M., & Serratt, T. (2018). Evaluating association degree nursing faculty job satisfaction. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 13(2), 71-74.
Tyczkowski, B. L., & Reilly, J. (2017). DNP-prepared nurse leaders: Part of the solution to the growing faculty shortage. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(7/8), 359-360. Web.