Nursing Shortage Analysis

The problem of the nursing shortage is one of the most outstanding issues in the health care industry in recent years. The studies on this topic are presented in various research articles and statistics. This paper aims to analyze the two research works made on this subject and to find out whether their methodology is useful for exploring the subject.

The American Epidemic: The U.S. Nursing Shortage and Turnover Problem

This article 9Cox et al., 2014) is an example of qualitative research. The methodology included the literature review and the interview with the human resources manager who was experienced in working with health care professionals. The result of this study indicates that several issues are facing the nursing industry like population aging, education, and others.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The main strength of the article is that the study approaches the issue of nursing shortage from different perspectives. It does not only take one factor as a reason for problems in this industry. Moreover, the authors implement the presented framework to structure their findings and decide on whether these elements affect the number of nurses.

The main weakness of the article lies in the failure to discuss the adverse effects created by the shortage of nursing staff. While the authors review the reasoning of the problem, they do not analyze its impact on the second participant group, which is patients. The conclusion states that further studies are necessary to a better understanding of the topic.

External and Internal Threats to Validity

As the authors themselves mention, their work is based on literature, which does not necessarily reflect the real situation. Another weak point of the research is that the authors interview only one person instead of doing a group survey. The information from a single source may be biased, and the interviewed person does not even belong to the researched group of workers.

Nurses’ Intention to Leave Their Profession: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study in 10 European Countries

This article (Heinen et al., 2013) is quantitative research conducted in Europe to determine the same reasons, as the article mentioned above did. The method included collecting interviews with nurses and the subsequent regression analysis of this data. The conclusion provides an idea that the primary reason for the problem lies in elements of a work environment.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The provided data draws a correlation between the strength of a worker as a professional and his or her satisfaction with work. This model is useful when applied to other countries as well. Moreover, the situation in European healthcare is similar to the one in the US, for its problems also lie in the population’s aging.

However, the research is based only on one factor, which is the level of burning out at work. It does not cover other issues. Thus, the reasoning for the problem cannot be full enough. Moreover, the study operates with such factors as leadership, which is vague and cannot be identified singly.

External Threats to Validity

The primary source of information for the research were the interviews with nurses, which may or may not reflect the real situation. Moreover, the concept of burning out is subjective, and everyone identifies it differently. That is why the same working conditions may satisfy one group of people, yet become pressuring for another.


The analyzed articles show that quantitative research would be more useful than a qualitative one. If the data types are chosen correctly, the statistics show a correlation between the issue’s reasons and outcomes. Moreover, mathematical analysis helps predict future trends.


Cox, P., Willis, W. K., & Coustasse, A. (2014). The American epidemic: The U.S. nursing shortage and turnover problem. Insights to a Changing World Journal, 2014(2), 54-71.

Heinen, M. M., Achterberg, T., Schwendimann, R., Zander, B., Matthews, A., Kozka, M., …Schoonhoven, L. (2013). Nurses’ intention to leave their profession: A cross sectional observational study in 10 European countries. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50, 174-184.