The impact of projected nursing shortage to the nursing profession
The impact of projected nursing shortage to the nursing profession and to the public is that some hospitals will close some units, divert patients and cancel surgeries because of inadequate numbers of professional nursing personnel, according to The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) . This will compromise patient care and safety and leave the nurses themselves overwhelmed, distressed, and dissatisfied. High patient-to-nurse ratios have been shown to lead to frustration and job burnout, which is linked to higher turnover, (Coshow, S,2009). According to an article published in (2005 by Dr. Peter Buerhaus and associates) found that the majority of RNs (79%) and Chief Nursing Officers (68%) believe the nursing shortage is affecting the overall quality of patient care in hospitals and other settings, including long-term care facilities, ambulatory care settings, and student health centers. Most hospital RNs (93%) report major problems with having enough time to maintain patient safety, detect complications early, and collaborate with other team members.
The nursing profession is working towards a solution by trying to implement specific strategies to retain experienced nurses in the provision of direct patient care, such as introducing greater flexibility into work environment structure and scheduling programs for example by supporting the aging nurse through offering flexibility in scheduling, increased time off, and sabbaticals. Rewarding experienced nurses for serving as mentors and/or preceptors for new registered nurses and implementing appropriate salary and benefit programs which will retain and attract more nurses as they will feel valued.