What is the impact to the nursing profession and to the public related to the projected nursing shortage
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What is the impact to the nursing profession and to the public related to the projected nursing shortage? Discuss at least one way that the nursing profession is working toward a resolution of this problem.
Implications of the nursing shortage with regard to the nursing profession
In order for the United States to maintain the status of being a leader in health care delivery, an ampule and sustained supply of highly trained and qualified nursing personnel is vital. If the nursing supply does not keep up with demands of healthcare, there will be significant negative fallout for not only for our health care system, but also directly escalate health care expenditures. It is predicted that by the year of 2020, there will be 1.05 million nursing job vacancies. The fast approaching nursing shortage is related to several different dynamics including a vast number of nurses retiring (55% of the nurse workforce is over the age of 50), the large influx of baby boomers into the healthcare system who require complex care of multiple co-morbidities, nursing education programs are substantially decreasing enrollment due to nurse educator staff shortages.
The nursing shortage results in nurses commonly working extended hours in a demanding and stressful environment, which may result in exhaustion, emotional distress and job dissatisfaction. Nurses subjected to these taxing environments are more likely to make medical errors and sound judgement. Thirty to fifty percent of nurses either change jobs or leave the profession due to burnout, stress, fatigue and demands of the job (ANA, 2017).
Implications of the nursing shortage with regard to the public
There are many negative consequences related to the nursing shortage. Short staffing of nurses have been linked to higher readmission rates, driving up Medicare & Medicaid expenditures to approximately $26 billion annually. High patient-to- nurse ratios is a major contributing factor of greater occurrence of patient infection rates including: increased catheter-associated urinary tract infection and surgical site infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, central- line-associated bloodstream infection, and Clostridium difficile infection. The economic impact is wide spread, resulting in loss of tax revenue, which may lead to growing budget deficits for local, state, and the federal government. Each time a nurse ceases employment, the healthcare facility spends an average of $36,900 to $57,300 turnover for a bedside RN (Snavely, T. 2016).
Nursing Shortage Resolution
The nurse workforce must be increased through recruitment and retention. Building a healthy supportive work environment by providing opportunity for education, growth, and advancement. Retaining talent will require extensive human resource planning and incentivizing through benefits, education and career advancement, profit sharing, and protection of emotional wellness and job satisfaction. Encouraging and supporting higher nursing education will provide increase in eligible nursing faculty available to instruct nursing students, resulting in increased enrollment. Implementation of strategies for stress management will reduce attrition and costly replacements and ensure adequate supply of nurses. Non-essential tasks should be reappointed to the appropriate supportive staff so that nurses are freed up to work to the full scope of their practice and meet increased demands.
Pursuing and achievement of the Magnet status build professional practice environments that are healthy and support a healthy work environment for nurses.
Implementation of nurse mentoring roles to coach inexperienced staff to guide the clinical team by encouraging professional development, provide continuing education, and promote clinical excellence and team building to create a healthy work environment (AACN, 2014).