There is an issue relevant to both my current practice area (registered nurse) and the future one (nurse practitioner), and it directly impacts care in the hospitals. This issue is the nurse shortage, which in turn causes unhealthy nurse-patients ratios and burnout among nurses. The problem has become especially widespread in recent years, and the pandemic only worsened the situation (International council of nurses, 2021). Nursing shortages not only cause trouble to nurses but also lead to higher mortality rates among patients, insufficient care, and errors in medical procedures.
Currently, nurse shortage occurs on a macro level, affecting the whole country and the medical sector altogether. I believe that the issue can be addressed in two main ways: the increase in recruitment rates of nurses and the decrease in job quitting rates of nurses. There are ways to improve both, such as an increase in the financial attractiveness of the occupation in general, improved working conditions, and enhanced career perspectives. The growth in recruitment can also be achieved by increasing the number of nursing students in training. For that, a higher number of scholarships in nursing may be offered.
These solutions may cause subsequent shifts in adjacent spheres, as some of the mentioned issues are common in the system overall. Therefore, the healthcare companies may have to redirect more funds towards nursing and other occupations’ benefits, thus either lowering their profits or cutting costs in different spheres. Another possible way the companies may compensate for these new expenses is by raising the prices for consumers. Interprofessional collaboration could be used to redistribute and share some responsibilities currently solely lying to nurses. Therefore, interprofessional collaboration could lower the pressure on nurses, improving their working conditions, lessening the burnout effect, and subsequently reducing the job-quitting ratio. These processes are already taking place, yet evidently, that is not enough at the moment.
International council of nurses. (2021). The global nursing shortage and nurse retention. Web.