The Nursing Shortage a national healthcare issue and its Impact

The Nursing Shortage a national healthcare issue and its Impact

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who chose a different national healthcare issue/stressor than you selected.

Explain how their chosen national healthcare issue/stressor may also impact your work setting and what (if anything) is being done to address the national healthcare issue/stressor.

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Nurses play an integral role in the provision of quality health care. In addition, nurses make up for the largest section of the health profession (Haddad & Toney-Butler, 2019). According to the study conducted by Zhang, Tai, Pforsich, & Lin in 2018, there will be a shortage of 154,018 RNs by 2020 and 510,394 RNs by 2030. The nursing shortage is a healthcare issue that could potentially impact the delivery of care and increase medical errors. Some of the factors contributing to nursing shortage are the aging RN workforce, the growing elderly population, nurse burnout, high turnover, inequitable distribution of the workforce, and violence in a healthcare setting (Haddad & Toney-Butler, 2019; Sawaengdee, et al., 2016).

The nursing shortage is an ongoing issue in my organization. I am currently working as an Operating Room Nurse in Florida under the Colorectal and Minimally-invasive surgery service. In the OR, nurses usually work with a specific service to ensure that the individual needs of the surgical team and the patients will be met based on the knowledge and expertise of the nurses in the service. During the past few months, there was a steady increase in the number of nurses leaving the department. The remaining nurses are now forced to take on a different service every day and stay extra hours after the shift to meet the OR cases demand. Although nurses were exposed to different services during the orientation period of 6 months, the unfamiliarity to different cases and surgeons alongside work burnout could potentially lead to errors, longer turnover time, and poor outcomes.

Management is actively responding to the nursing shortage by hiring new graduates and providing incentives for staying after shifts and for picking up extra days to work. A nursing residency program (NRP) is now being offered to new graduate nurses (NGNs) to solve the issue of the nursing shortage and to increase nursing retention. A study conducted by Ackerson & Stiles (2018), shows that NRP in acute care settings are successful in retaining NGNs, which decreases organizational costs. In relation to picking up extra hours of work, nurses are allowed to leave early when all the cases for the day are done before their shift ends to prevent nurse burnout.


Ackerson, K. & Stiles, K. A. (2018). Value of Nurse Residency Programs in Retaining New Graduate Nurses and Their Potential Effect on the Nursing Shortage. J Contin Educ Nurs, 49(6), 282-288. Doi: 10.3928/00220124-20180517-09

Haddad, L. M. & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2019). Nursing Shortage. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing. PMID: 29630227

Sawaengdee, K., Tangcharoensathien, V., Theerawit, T., Thungjaroenkul, P., Thinkhamrop, W., Prathumkam, P., . . . Thinkhamrop, B. Thai nurse cohort study: cohort profiles and key findings. BMC Nurs, 15(10). PubMed: 26893589

Zhang, X., Tai, D., Pforsich, H., & Lin, V. W. (2018). United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast: A Revisit. American Journal of Medical Quality, 33(3), 229 -236. Doi: 10.1177/1062860617738328

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The Nursing Shortage a national healthcare issue  and its Impact

The Nursing Shortage a national healthcare issue and its Impact

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