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Nursing Shortage in the Healthcare

Free «Nursing Shortage in the Healthcare» Essay Sample


The selected article is “Nursing Shortage: Not a Simple Problem-No Easy Answers” by Cheryl Peterson published in The Online Journal of Nursing Issues, A Scholarly Journal of the American Nurses Association. The rationale for choosing the mentioned article is based on the fact that the shortage of nurses in health care sector is a challenge that has been affecting the industry for a very long time. Furthermore, the article addresses the issue in detail by incorporating ethical challenges as some of the reasons for the shortage. Some of the proposed reasons for the shortage of nurses in the article are the increasing age of working nurses, retirement, and the aging of nurses that affect the capacity of nursing schools. Moreover, the current nursing practice atmosphere has a negative impact that on the retention of registered nurses and recruitment of the students. Fundamentally, the mentioned reasons are the basis for the decision to explore the article in question because the issue of nurse shortage is significant, and it needs to be resolved for better healthcare implementation.

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In the article, Peterson (2001) enumerates that nursing shortage is an issue that has to be resolved from a teamwork perspective. The article has taken the initiative to address how real the nursing shortage is, the ethical dimensions of nurse staffing, the aspects that affect the supply of registered nurses, and conclusion. The sections have been analyzed in detail to ensure that issues affecting nurses are known and strategies devised to counter the problem in an effective and professional manner.

Research Steps

Nursing Shortage in the Healthcare

The objective of the paper is to address the shortage of nurses because more nursing professionals are needed to counter the hindrances in healthcare. This problem needs to be resolved since it affects the relevance of nurses in healthcare in a negative way. This negativity is reflected on patients who need quality service delivery in terms of professionalism and modernity. However, the appropriate healthcare services quality are not provided due to the lack of the professional staff. The purpose of the project is to inform the reader of the challenges that affect the nursing community and recommend strategies that can be considered and consequently implemented to counter the problem at hand. Therefore, the purpose of the project is to generate relevant results that can be utilized by the industry, as well as nursing society, to make the healthcare sector more professional to properly cater for the patients’ needs, which is essential in the healthcare industry.

Research Questions

  1. What is nursing and why is it an imperative entity in the field of healthcare?
  2. What is the main problem facing nurses that needs to be fixed to generate relevant results in the field of healthcare?
  3. What strategies can be incorporated in nursing to combat the shortage of nursing effectively?


The challenges that affect this situation in healthcare have to be addressed in detail by the healthcare sector to incorporate the possible solutions and provide their services in the best way possible. The rationale is based on the fact that the presence of appropriate policies, enough effective tools, training, and experience within the healthcare sector are likely to increase the number of nurses.


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With the aim to effectively understand the issues taking place within the field of healthcare, and nursing in particular, the analysis of books, articles, and different observation approaches were put into consideration. From the observation approach, it was noted that issues contributing to a decrease in the number of registered nurses are working environment, recruitment tactics, retention, compensation, education, and recruitment of foreign nurses.

Working environment. A discouraging working environment is a prime concern that affects the shortage of nurses. It particularly relates to cases whereby nurses are exposed to heavy workloads and underpayment. The result of such conditions is often a decrease in nurses’ participation in healthcare because they believe that their worth is not being recognized (Finkelman et al., 2013).

Retention. It was observed that issues such as orientation, mentoring, and preceptor programs have been evaded in the recruitment process of nurses because of being expensive. The outcome has been a decrease in the number of nurses in healthcare (Peterson, 2001). The rationale for the decrease of nurses is based on the objective of not rating their ability based on the above recruitment attributes in nursing.

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Compensation. It is an issue that has not been undertaken effectively within the nursing profession, and, as a result, they are demoralized. It is noted that the compensation rate for nurses has not increased much as compared to other senior healthcare practitioners (Finkelman et al., 2013).. The outcome is a shortage of nurses because most of them feel that their efforts are not recognized

Recruitment of foreign nurses. Moreover, the healthcare sector has been caught on several occasions whereby nurses from foreign regions are being hired due to lower costs. This practice often leads to a decreased number of nurses within the United States hospitals because the citizens’ efforts are being neglected (Peterson, 2001).

Education. There is an increase in the number of aging population among nurses, and, as a result, it leads to a shortage of nurses. The enrolment for nursing profession has increased drastically, whereby it is perceived to be 52 for the professors and 49 for the assistant professors. Thus, such an event entails that a younger generation is not entering the field, which is detrimental to the nursing sector of healthcare industry (Peterson, 2001).

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Furthermore, the use of books and articles was appropriate as it brought more meaning to the reasons for the decrease in the number of nurses in the industry. The selected sources are credible due to being published by respected authors and trusted organizations.  Significantly, nurses shortage is an issue that has to be dealt with by the healthcare industry as a whole, with the objective of helping patients and nurses attain their worth (Finkelman et al., 2013).

Steps in Implementing the Project

To attain positive results, the members of the healthcare community will have to be involved in developing the possible approaches and solutions to the problem because the issue at hand revolves around them. The inclusion of 20 nurses from different ethnic backgrounds will be involved. The members will have to work in a teamwork perspective to attain results that will help to solve the problem under discussion (Timby, 2009).


Through the utilization of books, articles and observation methods, I was able to confirm that several issues contribute to nurses’ shortage in healthcare. The primary reasons are compensation, education, retention, recruitment of foreign nurses, and working atmosphere. The mentioned challenges have affected the field of nursing in a negative way, and, as a result, it is significant to come up with strategies that can counter the problem. The main approach that should be implemented is addressing the mentioned challenges that affect the profession both on the local and governmental levels. By dealing with the problems effectively through the provision of appropriate policies and approaches, positive results can be attained. The results would entail more nurses being recruited and more individuals willing to work as nurses Moreover, to counter the problem of nurses shortage, the Health Care Financing Administration ought to come up with strategies for costing out registered nurse services. The approach needs to be undertaken within the Medicare and Medicaid perspectives. There is the need to create a working atmosphere that would satisfy the needs of the staff and accommodate all nurses in terms of their effectiveness.

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How the Project Will Affect the Nursing Career

From the entire project and evaluation of the article, it is apparent that the project will affect the nursing career in a positive way. The rationale for the positive results that can be attained is because the needs of the nurses will be addressed. On matters related to the working atmosphere, making it more welcoming and motivating will ensure that nurses undertake their tasks properly, thus offering patients the best service possible. Compensating nurses their worth will ensure that they receive experience as they get exposed to the right education and motivation aspects (Timby, 2009). Moreover, evading from employing foreign nurses and employing the available nurses will also assure them that their services are needed. Offering affordable and high-quality education is another approach that will generate significant results, which will be associated with handling tools and patients in the right manner.


The paper entails that nurse shortage is a significant issue that affects the healthcare sector. Proper addressing of the problem is crucial since it will ensure better healthcare delivery within the healthcare industry as a whole. The issues that are contributing to the shortage of nurses in healthcare are compensation, education, recruitment of foreign nurses, discouraging working atmosphere, and issues associated with retention. It is elaborated that Health Care Financing Administration should be involved to come up with methods for costing out registered nurse services. Significantly, the implication here is that the right policies have to be put into consideration to ensure that the shortage of nurses is dealt with for better service delivery.

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