Being the type of social services that is completely indispensable for the regular functioning of any type of society and the satisfaction of its members, nursing has recently become the number one source of concern for the residents and the authorities of the United States. Because of the shortage among the nursing staff, the provision of high-quality nursing services is becoming increasingly hard. When addressing the key factors contributing to the nursing shortage, one must mention that these include not only the nursing issues but also related economical, political, financial, and social concerns.
Perhaps, the most important social factor contributing to the nurse shortage is the recent sharp increase in the average age of nurses. In 2012, the average age of a typical nurse made 44.5 (Rosseter, n. d.), which means that the given job has become especially unpopular among young people. As a result, there is no opportunity for nursing facilities to recruit new members.
As Institute for Women’s Policy Research stresses, there are macroeconomic factors, such as the government policies, and microeconomic factors, such as the individual choices of a nurse between the public and private sphere to work in. The key microeconomic factor is that most people specializing in nursing prefer working in private sectors, where they have more financial and professional options. As for the macroeconomic ones, the recent governmental choices concerning the staffing and workload policies do not seem realistic: “Some experts argue that the problem is not too few nurses, but poor working conditions, including inadequate wages, which fail to draw available qualified staff or that dissuade individuals from training as nurses” (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2006, 6).
Weirdly enough, political issues also have a lot to do with the lack of nursing specialists in the state. As researchers explain, the number of the U.S. population is growing increasingly due to the massive influx of immigrants. As a result, the demand for nursing services is rising. Although the number of specialists recruited for nursing services has also been rising persistently since 2000, the supply does not have the chance to meet the demand, and the gap between the two grows every year.
Needless to say, the key reason for younger employees to leave the nursing field concerns low salary most of the time (Elgie, 2007).
Apart from the aforementioned influx of immigrants, recent baby boomers have also contributed to a steep rise in demand for nurses (Caron, 2004).
Among the methods that can possibly be used to address the problem of nursing shortage in the U.S. setting of baby boomers and other factors that contribute to the issue, a capacity expanding strategy can be utilized. As the recently acquired data shows, from 2011 to 2012, the U.S. authorities were addressing the issue by attracting the attention of media to the problem, creating new job opportunities, working with schools and building new nursing organizations (
Another obvious solution concerns increasing the wages Lintern, 2013, June 18).nurses in public organizations. However, since the U.S. government is currently facing considerable budget issues (Elgie, 2007), the given solution does not seem attainable.
It cannot be argued that the current results are far from being drastic; if anything, these results only show that U.S. nursing is currently experiencing a shortage in staff. However, when digging deeper into the root causes of this shortage and, thus, forecasting the future of nursing, one will have to admit that the predictable results are less than satisfying. However, by addressing the current issues, such as the lack of updated equipment, efficient information management and training courses for improving employees’ qualifications, one will be able to improve the current state of nursing in the USA.
Caron, V. (2004). The nursing shortage in the United States: What can be done to solve the crisis? Web.
Elgie, R. (2007). Politics, economic and nursing shortages: A critical look at United States government policies. Medscape Multidisciplinary.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2006). Solving the Nursing shortage through higher wages. Washington, DC: Institute for Women’s Policy Research Press.
Lintern, S. (2013). NHS to face chronic nurse shortage by 2016. Nursing Times.
Rosseter, R. J. (n. d.). Nursing shortage fact sheet. Web.