A nurse is a very important person in every country, owing to their medical capacity to provide health care to the sick. Besides working in hospitals or medical clinics, nurses also work in orphanages, homes for the old, children’s homes, and mental illness institutions. This means that having a shortage of qualified nurses is detrimental to the welfare of a valid number of people who need medical help. Even though many people may not feel the impact of nurses’ shortage, people directly affected can relate. The shortage of nurses has led to immense problems, such as high morbidity and mortality rates. In various hospitals where there are high ratios of patients to nurses, nurses mostly experience dissatisfaction, burnout, while the patients experience high mortality rates.
Which are the effects of the nurses’ shortage in the healthcare sector?
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In the whole world, registered nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals. Regardless, the vacancy available for RNs continue to increase, claims that have been stamped by NSI. Even though there is a growing demand for nurses both in the community and hospitals, RN employment is projected to grow at 16% by 2024. This may not favor a large number of qualified nurses, as they are much higher than the occupations available. The bureau of labor statistics has outlined that mortality rates have been experienced due to the looming diseases that affect people in a major way. According to research over the years, it’s evident that older people are prone to diseases than young people, making the number of sick higher and more urgent. The shortage of nurses has a negative impact on society, as older adults lose their lives every other day.
- Due to the shortage of skilled nurses, the available ones have to work long hours, whereby they are subjected to stressful conditions resulting in injuries, fatigue, and job dissatisfaction.
- Due to stress and fatigue, nurses are likely to make various errors and medical mistakes that are detrimental to the health of people.
- The unfortunate results of nurses shortage make patients’ quality of life suffer, resulting in a variety of undeniable complications such as emergency room overcrowding, medication errors, and alarming increased mortality levels.
What has lead to a shortage of nurses?
Various factors contribute to nurses’ shortage, which has highly affected the medical field. Due to faculty shortage, many students looking forward to joining medical schools are turned away. This has led to a rampant shortage of nurses, at such a time when a good number of nurses are also retiring. The shortage of nurses results from;
- There are low salaries for educators as compared to clinicians.
- There has been an age-delayed trajectory of nurses who are aiming to obtain higher education levels.
- There is a late point development of career for entering educative duties.
- Nurses cannot fill up open faculty responsibilities.
- There is an alarming retirement rate of currently employed nurses and nursing educators.
How can the nurse shortage problem be solved?
There is a wide range of solutions to nurse shortage, which aim to make the medical industry better and more equipped. They include;
- Subsidizing funding
- Increment of wages
- The hiring of foreign & minority nurses
- Holding campaigns to improve the image of the nursing profession’s image
The shortage of nurses is highly disadvantageous to society; therefore, possible solutions should be put in place to avoid health complications & mortality rates.