Shortage of nurses is a grim concern that needs immediate short-term and long-term solutions. The shortage has been experienced in the past and is still expected to loom. Little measures have been taken so far to tackle the problem…
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Shortage of Nurses in the United States
It is evident that the U.S. faces and is still facing a looming shortage of registered nurses within its healthcare centers. However, more effort needs to be established, especially by the government to ensure this problem ceases. Inside medical facilities such as nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and schools among others, they play vital roles that ensures smooth daily running of such facilities. Failure to provide their services would lead to unimaginable adversity. For any medical facility to prevail, therefore, it is necessary that there be nurses, more than enough to carry out efficiently the duties delegated upon them. Despite the importance of nurses in medical facilities, the U.S healthcare facilities are facing a scarcity of nurses. The shortage level is on the rise annually and both long term and short-term solutions need to be addressed. This paper seeks to explore the existing shortage of nurses in the U.S. It analyses causes of such effects, then concludes by giving a summary of the research and the recommendations that might help solve the problem. Background In the 19th century when nursing was in its early stages in the US, icons like Florence Nightingale facilitated the nursing movement to help alleviate the serious deficiency of nurses that threatened healthcare staff and patients. The deficiency is still present to date, as can be witnessed in the past ten years where several U.S. healthcare facilities are facing acute shortage of nurses, a clear indication that the output of nurses is not meeting demand from the growing population. The shortage situation Although healthcare facilities in the U.S. are facing a deficiency of nurses, a situation that can compromise the quality of services offered in these facilities, many students are being denied admission into nursing schools. The resultant deficit has attracted the White House and political elite’s attention as the need to import foreign staff intensifies. Lois Capps, a Democrat U.S. Representative and a former nurse was quoted saying, “Nurses deliver healthcare” and that there cannot be meaningful healthcare with the deficit of nurses. The American Association of College of Nursing issued a report that 116,000 positions of registered nurses in U.S. healthcare facilities are vacant while 100,000 jobs remain unoccupied in nursing homes. The deficiency is anticipated to deteriorate, as the numbers of the elderly is on the rise hence need for more nurses. According to Robert Wood, a staff at the Association, "The nursing shortage is not driven by a lack of interest in nursing careers. In 2008, over 50,000 competent applicants were denied admission into nursing programs, including 6000 who applied for postgraduate of doctorate levels (Dunham, 2009, p.3). In ‘The Future of Nursing’ released in 2010, the Institute of Medicine called for an increment of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and nurses with doctorate degrees as the current levels of this staff stands at 50% instead of over 80%. The Health Resources and Services Administration in April 2006 projected that the deficiency of nurses nationwide would increase by 2020 to over a million nurses. In the report, ‘What is Behind HRSA’s Projected Supply, Demand and Shortage of Registered Nurses?’ all states in the U.S. will witness the deficiency. Currently, over 30 states are facing a shortage, as there are no nurses to fill in the positions. In a statement published by Journal of the American Medical Association in November 26, 2008, Dr. Peter Buerhaus, a professor of nursing was quoted saying
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