Free «Strategies to Combat the Growing Shortage of Nurses» Essay Sample

Strategies to Combat the Growing Shortage of Nurses

Clinicians, nurses, and patients are highly concerned about the nursing shortage because it continues to increase nationwide. An unpleasant and stressing work environment is another aspect that significantly contributes to this issue. The lack of adequate solution has led to the poor quality of patient care and the unavailability of services. A discussion on this issue is complex. The current supply of prepared and qualified nurse specialists cannot satisfy demands of the diverse population. If no urgent measures are taken today, consequences can be dire in the next decades. The current paper seeks to determine strategies to combat the growing nursing shortage and identify factors that contribute to a negative work environment.

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One of the main causes of the current shortage is the small number of nurses entering the workforce in particular geographic areas. Clinical facilities also lack specialists, who will be adequately prepared to meet the needs of patients in the ever-changing healthcare environment. The deficiency of health workers leads to the fact the staff is forced to work more. Moreover, human resources are finite, and it is not physically possible to work with patients longer than expected, because it affects concentration and leads to poor services.

In order to resolve the issue of the nursing shortage, healthcare facilities have to identify gaps that prevent them from functioning smoothly and to develop strategies to address the problem in a proper manner. Laschinger and Finegan (2005) encourage healthcare providers, policymakers, and the public to elaborate long-term workforce planning to employ skillful and qualified personnel. Without effective measures taken to reverse unfavorable, disturbing trends, patients will continue to experience systemic breakdowns. Strategies focusing on retaining nurses and recruiting new employees are expensive. However, their implementation will have to bring assurance that all efforts and costs will be paid off, and the workforce will demonstrate long-term commitment to the nursing career. Strategies to combat the growing shortage of nurses should also focus on the educational aspect. It is crucial to move graduates through the studies more rapidly, encourage lifelong learning, and support employers in providing useful staff programs.

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While developing strategies to combat the growing shortage of nurses, the competent authorities have to focus on the work environment, where employees will not only be able to provide direct care, but also productively cooperate with each other. Effective scheduling programs, great flexibility, and an adequate structure will significantly ease the working process and make the environment friendlier. The strategy should also focus on rewarding nurse specialists, who serve as mentors for newly registered nurses. The realization of benefit and salary programs is also crucial. Partnership and a less stressing environment will advance nursing practice. In order to resolve the issue of shortage, appropriate management structures should be established. They will provide nurses with more autonomy in all settings (Lynn & Redman, 2005). The entire working process should be also redesigned since it will enable older employees to continue fulfilling their direct care roles.

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Factors that contribute to a negative work environment should be reduced. They include the outdated technology, clashes, poor health conditions, stress, discrimination, harassment, low performance management, poor selection of team members, heavy workload, lack of transparency and clarity of responsibilities, inadequate leadership from the upper management, and insufficient resources. Therefore, considering the abovementioned issues and introducing amendments to clinical practice, the shortage of employees and their concerns can be properly addressed. It will lead to improved performance, and the staff will be able to work for patients’ benefit with reinforced enthusiasm.

To conclude, the shortage of nurse specialists has to be addressed properly to avoid dire consequences due to inaction. Causes of this issue are multi-faceted. Therefore, strategies to combat the nursing shortage should be based on education, workplace concerns, legislation, technology, research, and data collection. In order to establish a favorable work environment, experienced nurses have to be regularly rewarded. The flexibility, redesign of the entire working process, and the creation of an effective management structure will also address the issue of the nursing shortage. Factors that contribute to a negative work environment include stress, heavy workload, clashes, low performance, poor management, discrimination, bullying, outdated technology, and insufficient resources.