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The national healthcare issue I selected to analyze is the shortage of Nurses. According to an article in the Nursing Times, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030. Employment opportunities for nurses are projected to grow faster (9%) than all other occupations from 2016 through 2026 (Haddad et al., 2022). There is no question about the worldwide shortage of nurses, and as the stage of baby boomers age, the need for health care will grow, which means the nursing shortage will only worsen over time (Brown,2015). Nurses are a critical part of healthcare and comprise the health profession’s largest section. One of the biggest problems in healthcare is that most healthcare workers are not satisfied with their job due to multiple factors. These include a lack of potential educators, high turnover, poor workplace conditions, inadequate workplace models and flexibility, and inequitable workforce distribution. Also, with the previous pandemic, many nurses have changed careers and left bedside nursing. The decline in the healthcare staff leads to an increase in workload, which causes burnout amongst healthcare staff and affects the mental and physical state of workers (Ryu & Shim,2021). Also, enhance the potential room for mistakes and errors, decrease job satisfaction and, unfortunately, compromise patient safety and quality of care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections has projected that nursing will exceed other professions’ job growth from 2014 to 2024 (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2017). In my organization, Nurse shortage is a massive crisis where peers have to be doing overtime constantly and or picking up sessions, working with less than minimum staff or peers constantly floating in between units. Nursing shortage grossly impacts the healthcare system as the nurse-to-patient ratio is detrimental to the quality of care that the patient receives and the patient’s outcome. Short staff can lead to overworked staff, an unsafe work environment, and greater errors, which cost the hospital (Poghosyan,2018) analysis of pertinent health issues (nurse shortage essay).
According to Morris (2022), it is common for a nurse to think about leaving the nursing profession. Many nurses face short staffing, long hours, and a lack of support from the administration. From February 2020 to September 2021, 18% of healthcare workers quit their jobs. Additionally, 12% have been laid off, and 19% thought about leaving their job (Morris,2022). Nurse executives and fellow nurses can raise nurse retention rates during the nursing shortage period in many ways. This would decrease nurse burnout, increase job satisfaction, and enhance patient outcomes and quality of care. It is imperative that nurses feel appreciated, supported, heard, valued, and have a sense of belonging to a work family. Hence prioritizing mental health and emotional wellness in the healthcare system is crucial to support nurses and patient outcomes. During a time of crisis, such as the pandemic or consistent staffing shortages, the adverse mental health impact on nurses increases the risk of low staff retention and high nurse burnout rates, leading to errors, higher morbidity, and mortality rates. Nursing is a versatile profession that offers nurses many options to use their skills while in healthcare. When organizations support those moves through education and nursing mentorship, they retain more of their staff. Mentors and career coaches give nurses a sense of belonging. They focus their efforts on career fulfillment; RN career coaches need to become the norm in healthcare; these coaches’ mentors, provide career pathing, and help guide their fellow RNs toward growth opportunities in their organization. Organizations must offer nurses impactful training that addresses emotional wellness and mental health. Nurses provide care to patients in their most challenging times. They should have tools to strengthen resilience and keep improving mental health. As a coach for My Steady Mind, Sweeney has seen firsthand the positive impact this type of training has in the health space. Some nurse leaders are supporting nurses’ mental health actively in the workplace. Organizations need appropriate training for new RNs and veteran RNs to learn new skills. New skills enable nurses to grow and move into different types of specialties analysis of pertinent health issues (nurse shortage essay). To retain staff, programs must be carried out to offer training in a new specialty to grow nurses’ careers. Otherwise, nurses leave it to other organizations that afford them the opportunity.
According to Haddad et al. (2022) Appropriate staffing levels will decrease errors, increase patient satisfaction, and improve nurse retention rates. Maintaining a safe nurse-to-patient ratio is one of the most significant challenges nurses faces today. To improve patient outcomes, nurses need more time with patients. According to a study done by Johns Hopkins Medicine, nearly 250,000 people die each year due to medical errors, making medical errors the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Nationally mandated staffing ratios will not make an immediate difference in the nurse shortage and will improve patient care. Hospitals must use creative strategies to adequately staff units with minimal impact on patients. However, this would improve patient care while new nurses complete their programs. Also, an environment that empowers nurses is necessary to rejuvenate and sustain the nursing workforce. Empowerment in autonomy in staffing ratio decisions considering the high volume and acuity levels, will lead to less burnout and a strong desire to leave the workforce. Many organizations have endorsed and sought Magnet Certification to provide superior nursing processes and high safety, quality, and patient satisfaction (Haddad et al., 2022). Technology in nursing has come a long way and has dramatically impacted the healthcare system. Electronic Health Records have made a breakthrough in nursing because it enables healthcare workers to spend more time with patients’ turnover, save time and improve clinical efficiency. This is essential for creating job satisfaction and reducing nurse turnover. Also, using flexible shifts such as 12 hrs. would be tremendous and facilitate life outside of work, especially for those with families. Nurses must be paid appropriately for the invaluable work they are doing. However, while improving the pay scale is one strategy to improve nursing retention, it should be accompanied by other initiatives that address the daily needs of the bedside nurse.
The above strategy mentioned in the articles will impact my organization immensely and reduce the retention of nurses. Technology has changed the whole ball game of the healthcare system; hence hospitals must move from paper charting to enhance the effectiveness of care, save time, and reduce nurse turnover. Mandating a specific staff-to-patient ratio will allow nurses to give the best care to patients. The staff-to-patient ratio is important because if the staff-to-patient ratio is below the minimum, adequate care will not be given to patients, which will increase error, mortality rate, and patient outcome (Al-Mugheed,2022). analysis of pertinent health issues (nurse shortage essay)  Also, it is important that nursing management listens to the healthcare staff’s needs and provides a better work environment; this would enhance the outlook of the job and increase job satisfaction. Advocating on the staff’s behalf and supporting them would also gain staff loyalty. Providing mentorship will increase retention and growth among nurses. When employees are happy and satisfied with their work, their attitude will be reflected in the services they provide and encourage staff performance, increase the effort for quality of care for patient outcomes, and increase nurse retention. A recognized employee is a loyal employee, and a loyal employee is a dedicated employee. Also, flexible work hours will allow individuals more time with themselves and family to rejuvenate and be ready to give their services to the hospital, reducing burnout. Lastly, increasing base salary, paying incentives, and bonuses will motivate and encourage staff performance (Al-Assaf & Abduljawad,2015). However, until we resolve the real issues that nurses face, more money will always be just a buffer to buy more of your time until you cannot take it anymore, and then no amount of money would be worth it.
Abduljawad,A & Al-Assaf, A  (2011). Incentives for better performance in healthcare. Retrieved on February 27, 2023, From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3121024/
Al-Mugheed, K., Bayraktar, N., Al-Bsheish, M., AlSyouf, A., Jarrar, M., AlBaker, W., & Aldhmadi, B. (2022). Patient safety attitudes among doctors and nurses: Associations with workload, adverse events, experience. Retrieved on February 28, 2023, From https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35455809/
Broome, M., & Marshall, E. S. (2021). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Haddad, L., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T.J (2022). Nurse Shortage. Retrieved on March 11, 2023, From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/
Morris. G (2022). How to Support Nurses and Raise Nurse Retention Rates. Retrieved on March 11, 2023, From https://nursejournal.org/articles/how-to-support-nurses-considering-resigning/
Poghosyan, L., Norful, A., & Laugesen, M. (2018). Removing restrictions on nurse practitioners’ scope of practice in New York state: Physicians’ and nurse practitioners’ perspectivesLinks to an external site.. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(6), 354–360.
Ryu, I & Shim, J (2021). The Influence of Burnout on Patient Safety Management Activities of Shift Nurses: The Mediating Effect of Compassion Satisfaction. Retrieved on February 28, 2023, From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC862111 analysis of pertinent health issues (nurse shortage essay)

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