Scarce Resource Article: Nursing Shortage

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Scarce Resource Article Hazel Hofer NUR 531 September 16, 2013 Tracey Lane Scarce Resource Article Registered nurses (RNs) are an important part of the health care environment, without them delivering quality healthcare would be very difficult if not impossible. The nursing shortage was originally projected that by 2020 there will be approximately a 36% nursing vacancy rate in the United States (National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, 2013). A more recent article estimates a nursing shortage of approximately 300,000 to 1,000,000 nurses by 2020 with the largest deficits in California, Florida, and Texas (Juraschek, Zhang, Ranganathan, & Lin, 2012). In the 2008 book written by Buerhaus, Staiger, and Auerbach it is estimated…show more content…
One primary factor is the population growth patterns. Currently the American population is growing older, which means there is both a growing need for nurses as well as the implication that the workforce of nurses is also growing in age, roughly half of the nurses being 50 years or older. In most professions the reason for shortage is more directly related a lack of qualified applicants to the profession, in the case of nursing it is more directly related to the colleges and universities cannot meet demands of an increased enrollment. The inability to increase the enrollment is secondary to a lack of resources to both teach courses as well as issues related to student saturation at clinical sites (Fox & Abrahamson, 2009). A third contributing factor is very interrelated to nursing education is that nursing education has shifted from hospital-based diploma programs to university and college programs. This shift created the need for hospitals to increase the percentage of paid nursing staff to keep up with the demand of related to the void of care provided by nursing students (Fox & Abrahamson, 2009). A fourth factor contributing to the current nursing shortage is the economic stress that nursing turnover creates in the healthcare setting. The nursing profession can be stressful mentally, physically, and emotionally creating an argument that nurses are not adequately compensated for their working environment. With other less stressful professional occupations available to a profession that is primarily female individuals are leaving the profession (Fox & Abrahamson, 2009). Other factors influencing the nursing shortage include increased workloads, increased demand for specialty nurses, and decreased financial assistance available for nursing education. Unless each contributing factor is individually addressed with adequate solutions the nursing shortage

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