This blog is one I am hosting, so I feel that I have more control over what I put on the
pages and I feel more ownership. I will continue to post the my free wordpress blog of the same name for some time still to prepare people to move to this site eventually.
My free blog, Nursing Notes, has a very large following and I don’t want to lose them or start all over again. If I need to, I will continue that blog indefinitely.
I want to post to this blog some of the nursing articles I wrote and put on EzineArticles. I will be adding to these here instead of over at EzineArticles. With that said, I will add an article below. Please feel free to leave me a comment.
The Nursing Shortage–5 Reasons for the Shortage of Nurses
Just about every day, we hear about the “nursing shortage” and the impending catastrophe in our health care system. Being bombarded with gloom and doom tends to make us tune out, but this is one time we all need to pay attention.
Nursing is a wonderful profession; one with great rewards and just as great stressors. People who become nurses are not looking simply for a safe job. If that was the case, nursing would be the last place to look. Nurses go into nursing because they want to help others. Any other reason to become a nurse leads to burn-out. Being able to help a premature infant grow and mature so that a normal life is available, helping a grandmother to maintain her dignity during her last days, showing a new teenage mother the proper way to hold and feed her infant-these are some of the rewards. But the stress of the profession–fueled by staffing issues, sicker patients, more technology, and legal hoops–seems to grow
There is a shortage of nurses right now and there will be one for many years to come. Things in our hospitals will get worse and worse as the availability of nurses declines. Let’s look at some of the reasons for this decline.
1. Nursing schools can’t grow fast enough to turn out enough RN’s. Nursing school enrollment grows about 3.6% yearly, but this growth is not sufficient to meet the demand in the workplace.
2. There’s not enough nursing instructors to enable larger class sizes. Almost 55,000 qualified applicants were turned away in 2009 due to insufficient ability to handle larger class sizes at our nursing schools.
3. The average Registered Nurse is getting older. The average age of the nurse today is between 45 and 50 years. Many people come to nursing after full careers elsewhere.
4. Older, sicker patients equates with a need for more nurses to care for them. It’s not just the nurses who are getting older. Our population as a whole is aging rapidly. With age comes a higher demand for health care services. We will be needing more and more nurses to fill this demand.
5. Staffing shortages are raising the stress level of nurses, impacting job satisfaction, and driving many nurses away from the profession. Nurses are burning out at a rapid rate. When one nurse is expected to care for too many patients, the nurse is stressed, the patient gets inadequate care and everyone is unhappy. If you spend years in that situation, you start looking for something else to do.
Nurses across the board are talking about the effect on the quality of care in hospitals and other settings, including long-term care facilities, ambulatory care settings, and student health centers. Short staffing causes major problems with having enough time to maintain patient safety, detect complications early, and collaborate with other team members. This is a real threat to our collective good health.
As a nurse, this issue is one that I am very interested in. I firmly believe that if we educate ourselves, we have a better chance of living a long and healthy life. With that in mind, I write on current health issues that I believe can be corrected by simply learning more and modifying lifestyles.
- Nurses Don’t Want To Be Doctors (nursingtrends.wordpress.com)
- Nurses Worried About Retirement Prospects (nursingtrends.wordpress.com)
- Improving Retention, Confidence, and Competence of New Graduate Nurses (nursetopia.net)
- Nurses and Pandemic Outbreaks (nursingtrends.wordpress.com)
- Unique Initiative Designed to Ease National Shortage of Nurse Educators (nursingtrends.wordpress.com)
- Health News: Oregon empowers nurses; nurses with doctorates; nurse-led care grows (oregonlive.com)
- I hate it when I don’t know what to do (notratched.net)