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The question then becomes do these nurses become worried about the long hours that they may have to work and the quality of care that the patients are getting, or do they sit back and remind the world that they knew this was going to happen, because pay has traditionally been low for nurses and this is why more people are choosing other fields of study when looking for career (Taft, 2001).
Perhaps many nurses will not choose either of these options. Many may choose to continue doing the job that they've been doing for years, for the pay that they have come to expect. Those that choose this option will likely be more concerned with care of the patient then they will with the money that they receive from their job, or how many hours they have to put in for that paycheck. Their primary concern will always remain the patient (Taft, 2001).
Either way the problem is examined, however, it is still a problem. Nurses can only do so much with the time that they have, and a lack of them in any hospital can cause problems for patients who need extra care. It is clear that something must be done to help the nursing shortage in this country, however, it is easier said than done. Raising the pay for nurses is a wonderful idea, but not every hospital has the fund is or the ability to do this. Therefore, those hospitals that have plenty of money on hand would have plenty of nurses, while hospitals that traditionally have made less money would be short-staffed with underpaid people which would not help the hospital, the nurses, or the patients.
Another suggestion for bringing more nurses into the field is to show people how rewarding and valuable a career in nursing can be. This is certainly a noble effort; however, many people do not have the luxury of working at a particular job simply because they enjoy it. They must make enough money to support themselves, and many times they must make enough money to support a family. Not all nurses are women, obviously, but they are still a majority in the nursing field. Many of these women are single mothers and must support themselves and their children on the meager salary that nursing provides. It is difficult to entice new people into the field when they see that, while their work may be extremely rewarding, they will still struggle to put food on the table for their children (Tsai & Chang, 2004).
The possibility that the nursing shortage is here to stay is very real. There have been nursing shortage is in the past, of course. They occurred back in the 1960s and 1970s. That is not to say that the decades between then and now brought no shortage in the nursing field. Small shortages have always been around, and some hospitals have had a more difficult time with this than others. This current nursing shortage, however, looks to be more severe and significant then the shortages of the past. It is being taken more seriously by hospitals and doctors, and hospital administrators around the country are looking for ways to entice more people into the nursing profession. So far nothing has been discovered that has dramatically raised the amount of people applying to nursing school (Peterson, 2001).
There is still hope for the future of nursing, however, because there are still people who enroll in nursing school no matter what the costs. There are still people who have such a strong desire to help others that they will willingly take a job making a low salary because the other rewards they receive are so great. The main hope for the future of nursing lies in finding more of these kinds of people. They are certainly out there, and with the changing global environment it seems quite likely that more and more of them will be able to be found. If this is indeed the case this bodes very well for those that will need healthcare services in the future because there will be more nurses and better-experienced nurses that will be better equipped to take care of the patients that they are charged with protecting and looking out for. The global environment, therefore, is a very good thing for nursing.
Beu, Burke. 2002. Nursing Issues. The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses. Retrieved at http://www.aorn.org/journal/2002/novhpi.htm
Cheskin Life Sciences Perspectives: The emerging healthcare consumer. 2001. Cheskin. http://www.cheskin.com/life.
Grace, Helen, & Gloria Smith. Women in Health Leadership Roles: The Challenges of Change. 2002. Center for Research on Women and Gender, the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Green, David. French health service is best. 2001. Guardian Unlimited. http://www.societyguardian.co.uk/health/comment/0,7894,440883,00.html.
Health it Market Brief. 2002. Collaborative Health Informatics Centre.
Peterson, Cheryl a. 2001. Nursing Shortage: Not a simple problem - no easy answers. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Volume 6, Number 1, Manuscript 1. Retrieved at http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/topic14/tpc14_1.htm
Taft, Susan. 2001. The Nursing Shortage. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Volume 6, Number 1, Overview. Retrieved at http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/topic14/tpc4ntr.htm
Tsai, Pao-Feng & Chang, Jason Y. 2004. Assessment of pain in elders…[continue]
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