Stress in Nursing Practice Analysis

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 4
Words: 834
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Nursing shortage

‘Many states and nations are already facing an impending shortage of nurses which is expected to go high as the year’s progress. However, communities, organizations, and individuals need to get together to address the issue of nurse shortage’.


The issue of stress in the nursing practice that is intended to be focused on in this research paper is nurse shortage. The shortage of nurses is moving toward crisis proportions. Although most schools of nursing have seen increases in enrollments in the recent past, the numbers being prepared for the workforce are nowhere near what is needed now and in the immediate and long-term future. Unless we find innovative and creative ways to improve the shortage, it will continue to grow (Feldman, 2003).

Nursing shortage and the effects

First and foremost is the aging of the nursing workforce and the declining enrollment in the nursing programs over the past decade, as women are able to move into other science-focused roles besides nursing. Also, high school counselors tend not to recommend nursing to males or to female students interested in the sciences. Nursing schools now often have waiting lists, and many states cannot educate and train nurses as fast as is needed.

Increased patient condition severity and nurse responsibilities have expanded the workload of the few nurses in hospitals in ways that may affect patient care outcomes. Moreover, the hours of patient care made possible by good staffing practices has shown to be a significant predictor in the rate of patient falls, development of example pressure ulcers, respiratory and urinary tract infections, and patient and family satisfaction (McHugh & Finkler, 2008).

Joining and using professional associations in nursing

Professional associations work on behalf of the profession and ultimately benefit the public by helping nurses to provide high-quality nursing care through a wide range of activities and addressing issues affecting the nursing profession.

Nurses have a responsibility to belong to one or more nursing associations, both as an extension of their interest in nursing and to support their fellow nurses. A strong professional organization is a characteristic of mature professions and nurses should make effective decisions about which nursing associations to join and how they can learn to use these groups to meet their needs for professional growth and to stimulate activities on behalf of members of the group.

Internal political and legal issues

Professional nursing’s power is divided by subgroups and conflicts. The nurses must be aware not only of hospital policies related to all issues but also the legal requirements of the hospital in which they work. The fact that most nurses are not members of any professional group impairs the nursing’s ability to lobby effectively. These are major challenges for nursing if it is to realize its potential collective professional power and autonomy.

External political and legal issues

As nurses have become more highly educated and are able to provide services that were formerly part of medical practice, conflicts with medicine have inevitably arisen. Much of the power, influence, and resources of organized nursing have gone toward lobbying efforts in state legislatures to ensure that the scope of nursing practice is protected and appropriately enhanced (Jacob & Cherry, 2005).

Nursing: High-risk occupation

A number of studies in recent years have pointed to the prevalence of workplace violence experienced by healthcare workers. Adverse consequences of workplace violence against nurses span short- and long-term physical and psychological symptoms. Even in the absence of physical injury, results of the case study done revealed that nurses’ moderate to severe reactions to assault lasted for six to one year, while the case study findings cited job changes, constant pain, and depression as long as four years after the assault.

Violence prevention strategies

Several strategies could reduce the hazard of workplace violence (Chitty, 2005, P.170).

  1. Regular use of danger review techniques
    For example, men between the ages of 18 and 34 commit a much higher percentage of violent crimes than older men or women of any age.
  2. Putting into practice standards and systematic plan of action for creating a healing setting
    Here it is important to enhance a friendly environment instead of responding to upsets with verbal threats and physical force. Thus it lays a basis for further potentially lethal violence.
  3. Use of social network techniques and community-based services to fan out highly nervous and aggressive behavior by non-chemical means. This is where professionals for example in the mental health department try using known inter-personal approaches instead of chemical or physical restraints to avenge attacks on the staff.


The nursing shortage is a critically important issue. If left unheeded, negative opinions will arise and patients will suffer. Their quality of life may be affected and positive outcomes may be endangered. Whereas a national initiative is crucial to summon resources, much of what is needed rests with the state and federal governments and local communities. Every hospital in the country must focus on good working conditions for both retention and recruitment as future cornerstones.

Reference List

Chitty, K. K. (2005). Professional nursing: concepts & challenges. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Feldman, H. R. (2003). The nursing shortage: strategies for recruitment and retention in clinical practice and education. New York. NY: Springer Publishing Company.

McHugh, M. L., & Finkler, S. A. (2008). Budgeting concepts for nurse managers. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Jacob, S. R. & Cherry, B. (MSN). (2005). Contemporary nursing: issues, trends, & management. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Health Sciences.