The shortage of clinical nurses.
The nursing profession has been encountering a shortage of clinical nurses. The profession is experiencing a problem in hiring new nurses and struggling to maintaining already hired nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the demand for registered nurses to grow from two million to 3.2 million between 2008 and 2018, a 60% increase (Minority Nurse, 2013).
The consequences of shortage of nurses is that current nurses become overwhelmed, fatigued, distressed, and dissatisfied with their job. This led them to faults and medical mistakes, and the ill-fated outcome is that the patient’s value of care is reduced, thereby making them susceptible to avertible complications including medication errors, emergency room overcapacity and increased mortality rate (Schumacher Clinical Provider).
Factors affecting nursing shortages include “low salaries for educators compared to clinicians”, the age-delayed trajectory of nurses acquiring higher levels of education, failure to fill open faculty roles, hospital activity, aging population (significant percentage increase to Baby Boomers), workload/work environment, etc. (Schumacher Clinical Provider).
Researchers are considering the solutions for the nursing shortage and the outcomes provide optimism for maintaining and providing a healthy work environment that will help provide an increase in maintenance of a safe work environment, quality health care, and promote a “desirable professional avenue” (Minority Nurse, 2013). The research focuses on the setting that cultivates progression and autonomy that will attract new younger nurses while establishing shorter shifts, job sharing, and work schedule flexibility that would help retain veteran nurses.
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