Nursing Education support
Lack of reliable nursing education infrastructure and trainers forms a major pillar towards the nurse shortage. As such, the private and public sector ought to intensively consider investing in nursing education through the provision of equipped learning institutions (Nickitas, Middough & Aries, 2011). Lack of elementary training tools in the healthcare industry make the skills of the trained teachers unreliable and most impractical. Cordially, the government ought to be in the lead in budgeting and funding nursing training institution as a strategic approach to support the career advancement and training. Importantly, enhancing the infrastructure in training institutions enhances the trained nurse’s practical experience and professional skills in the healthcare industry.
Investing in nursing education as well plays a critical role building and advancing their career and as such critical in enhancing retention in the job industry (Morgan & Somera, 2014). Equipped and supportive educational institutions allow nurses not only to acquire elementary skills but as well get the opportunity to advance their careers. Limited career growth in the nursing career was found to increase the rate of career switch or quitting nursing jobs. Advanced institutions as such offers career progress and add value to their nurses’ professional profile. It also gives the trained nurses a promotional edge hence assisting in making the nursing career attractive and developmental.
The strategy as well enhances nursing programs diversity available in the learning institutions (Nickitas, Middough & Aries, 2011). Limitation in available nursing programs reduces the likelihood of a potential nursing youth choosing a nursing career. With established institutions, the learners will have variety and as such allowing the potential nurses join variant programs which aid reduce the immense shortage in the sector. Enhanced diversity in nursing programs as well would increase creativity, innovation, and result in improved nursing processes and operations in delivering healthcare. Collectively, investing in improving nursing education would play a core role in reducing nurses’ shortage both in the short run and long run.
Creating a Positive Work Environment
Creating an interesting, explorative and positive work environment would be critical in reducing nurse shortage (Morgan & Somera, 2014). A big number of nurses quitting their career reported nursing to have limited interactions with the world outside work. Today, creating work-social balance plays a primary role in enhancing employee satisfaction. Collectively, reducing work monotony basically associated with “all day working” experience would aid in nurse retention. Typically, ensuring continued employee engagement remains critical in ensuring recognition and job satisfaction. Enhancing flexible working programs for nurses would increase job satisfaction and as such increase their loyalty and effectiveness at work (Hollmann, 2014). Such a strategy would as well ensure the nurses have opportunities to bridge gaps in their social life not directly associated with their day-to-day work such as career advancement.
Healthcare organization as well could initiate non-work programs within the working environment such as support and problem-solving groups (Nickitas, Middough & Aries, 2011). Such initiatives would assist the employees to create a cushion for their daily experiences and also create room for job satisfaction. Primarily, such initiatives would be important in assisting the nurses to own their roles, activities and as such increasing their productivity. Moreover, a positive work environment creates job ownership, responsibility acquisition and feel of control. Collectively, work environment improvement ensures the nurses remain satisfied and willing to explore and learn and as such increasing the retention rate and minimizing retrenchment index in search for different careers and job opportunities.
Change of Policies affecting Nurses
Remuneration as healthcare and legislature typically has immense impacts on the nurse shortage due to low pay and economic recognition (Morgan & Somera, 2014). The existing policies have limited financial growth for nurses hence making the career less rewarding as compared to other careers in the society. Typically, the youths have a high appetite for financial growth and especially with the increasing cost of living. As such, such policies ought to recognize the nurses and as well increase the financial implication not only for nurses but also nurses’ educators. Policies as well ought to demand nurses’ career growth and also supporting their career advancement.
The government as well ought to heavily invest in changing policies limiting primary healthcare available to its citizens as a strategic approach in ensuring the citizens have access to elementary healthcare and as such minimizing workload for advanced healthcare, particularly for the aging population. Increasing primary healthcare aids in reducing workload for advanced healthcare which reduces nurse availability and individuals served by a single nurse (Nickitas, Middough & Aries, 2011). Policies as well ought to control the private sector as a strategy to make it affordable and accessible by population with moderate economic capabilities.
Again, healthcare providers could recognize and reward preferred nursing behaviors (Morgan & Somera, 2014). The strategy would act as a motivating approach for nurses to endorse best practices which encourages them to serve with objectivity and collectively increasing employee performance and efficiency. Providing such privileges and incentives continuously encourage and keep nurses focused hence minimizing their career distractions and collectively enhancing retention rate. Moreover, the approach could as well increase job satisfaction and significantly increase referrals to the industry.
Retiring Nurses’ Program
The program would entail taking into account and proactively for preparing for replacing retiring nurses (RNs). Ideally, the strategy aims at sustaining the number of trained nurses working with and for the healthcare industry (Morgan & Somera, 2014). The strategy would ensure recruitment meets the shortage introduced by retiring nurses and collectively minimizing adverse impacts of nurse shortage. The program as such would ensure the newly recruited spend significant time with the experienced RNs to ensure smooth flow of expertise in the healthcare industry. Moreover, the strategy would assist in triggering the RNs willing to work after retirement and comprehensively taking into control healthcare shortage crises. Critical implementation for RNs transition program would significantly assist fill gaps in nurse shortage in the healthcare sector.
Social Attitude Change
Creating social change for nursing career attitude as a feminine profession to a universal career would significantly aid reduce nurse shortage (Hollmann, 2014). Nursing has a strong perception as a feminine professional and as such limited masculine willingly join the career. With ladies shifting their interest to other careers available in the professional domain, the nursing sector has been hit hard with trainee shortages on basis of the social perception of the career. Creating awareness, motivation, and support for a nursing career across gender would assist increase number of youths particularly joining the nursing training institutions. Such critical intervention would increase gender balance in the nursing career and significantly lay a foundation for long term increase in nurse education trainees (Hollmann, 2014). Collectively, working towards social perception change would increase trained nurses in the healthcare sector and correctively reduce the current shortage.
Events leading to Nurses’ Shortage
Baby Boomer after Second World War
After the Second World War, the generation increased rapidly increasing the population significantly (Hollmann, 2014). Years down the line, the generation has reached the age of retire, old age which is associated with special healthcare. The increasing aging population as such increased the workload on the nursing duties and as such reducing the nurse-patient ratio. Moreover, demand for intensive care especially from the professional healthcare service providers increased and consequently reduced nurses available to serve and so the shortage kept on rising as the aging population increased year to year.
Retiring Nurses Increase
On the other hand, the number of trained healthcare providers were aging and hitting the retirement ceiling (Hollmann, 2014). The incident matched the increased demand for healthcare providers and as such increasing on the pressure on the need for nurses. Moreover, limited youths were joining the profession as they switched to other careers and collectively increasing the shortage in the industry. Collectively, the retirement reduction in workforce along low recruitment in nursing contributed significantly the shortage currently being experienced.
My Role in Shortage Crisis
Specialty would be a key role in my future practice of healthcare service. In specialty, I would be productive, efficient and able to address specified health needs to satisfactory for less time which translates to extending my service to extra patients as compared to a situation where I would be having general healthcare skills and experience. Collectively, specialty leads to high effectiveness, enhanced performance and dedicated service to patients.
I would as well enroll in providing home care services. Practically, it refers to taking the healthcare services to the patients at their homes and care centers. The interventions assist in ‘keeping patients away from the traditional hospital setup’. Ideally, the approach would reduce the number of patients seeking medical assistance and especially assisted care from hospitals hence reducing potential workload. Consequently, the approach would assist improve the nurse-patient ratio.
Again, I would actively be participating in giving referrals to friends and colleagues with and interested in nursing practices. By so doing, I would increase staff available and potential nurses in the healthcare industry. In my opinion, the approach would assist cushion the impacts on nurse shortage in the short and long run. Increased referrals translate to more staff and nursing trainees.
The Legislature has critical roles in ensuring safe staffing and particularly during shortages (Morgan & Somera, 2014). Key roles include provision for a ceiling on possible overtime per employee over a specified period of time. Prohibiting excessive overtime ensures the patients receive safe and quality healthcare. The legislation also requires nurses to adhere to scheduled overtime allocation as a strategic approach to create workforce-workload balance. The approach importantly aims at sustaining a specified nurse-patient ratio which ensures patients receive healthcare service without compromising quality (Morgan & Somera, 2014). Additionally, the legislation board policies giving incentives towards nursing education for both new entrants and nurses willing to advance their careers increases nursing recruits and consequently addressing the shortage in the long run. Moreover, legislation whistleblower policies to protect employees who report non-quality practices in the healthcare sector significantly enhances healthcare services safety.
Hollmann, P. A. (2014). Program Evaluation: Defining and Measuring Appropriate Outcomes. Healthcare Changes and the Affordable Care Act, 153-168. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-09510-3_9
Morgan, D., & Somera, P. (2014). The Future Shortage of Doctoral Prepared Nurses and the Impact on the Nursing Shortage. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 38(1), 22-26. doi:10.1097/naq.0000000000000001Nickitas, D. M., Middough, D. J., & Aries, N. (2011). Public Policy and Politics for Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals: Advocacy and Action. Journal of Nursing Regulation,2(1), 64. doi:10.1016/s2155-8256(15)30305-7
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