The United States has the largest number of professional nurses in the world totalled 3 millions approximately. Despite the available large number of professional nurses, there is still imbalance between the supply and demand for nurses in the United States. Demand for the professional nurses has outnumbered the supply. Typically, critical nursing shortage has become a serious issue in the United States, and the production capacity is lagging based on the estimated future needs. The concept of nursing shortage refers to the situation where the demand for nurses outnumbers the supply. The worsening nursing shortage in the United States has created the demand for more nurses to fill the gap. Many private and public sectors healthcare leaders have advocated for the serious solution to boost the supply of nurses. One of the solutions advocated is that the U.S. should facilitate the migration of foreign graduate nurses to address the nursing shortage. The suggested solution has generated a heated debate among the healthcare professionals and the policy makers. (Dudley.2009).
This paper contributes to the debate. The paper provides the case scenario to provide greater understanding on the effect of nursing shortage in the United States.
I am a professional staff nurse working at the Superior Hospital. The issue of nursing shortage is a major problem affecting the high quality healthcare delivery within our organization. Superior Hospital was established in 1985. The objective of our organization is to deliver value to the stakeholders by providing high quality healthcare to the patients. The hospital has adhered to this objective by recruiting high quality medical staff. By adhering to this policy, our hospital has been able to deliver high quality healthcare to the customers. To continue delivering high quality healthcare service, our hospital maintains a policy to uniquely employ only the nurses trained in the accredited U.S. medical schools. All the medical staffs working in our hospital are trained in the U.S. medical schools. Since the formation of our hospital, no foreign-trained nurse has ever been recruited. In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of patients patronizing our hospital leading to the urgent need to recruit more staff nurses. The Superior Hospital seeks for the service of a recruitment agency to recruit the total number 50 graduate nurses. However, after few weeks, the recruitment agent is able to come up with only 10 graduate nurses. The recruitment agent maintains that he is not able to come up with the required number of graduate nurses because there is an acute shortage of nurses in the United States. The recruitment agent advised the management they should employ foreign graduate nurses to come up with the required number of nursing staff. The management of the Superior Hospitals decides to debate on the issue and give the recruitment agent the feedback within few weeks.
This paper contributes to the debate and examines whether the management of Superior Hospital should recruit the foreign graduate nurses to address the shortage of nursing staff.
The paper provides the benefits and the shortcomings on the facilitation of migration of foreign graduate nurses into the United States.
Current Status (who, what, where, when)
The foreign graduate nurses are the professional nurses from the different countries of Philippines, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, Australia, Latin America and others.
The current status of nursing shortage in the United States reveals that the nursing shortage will reach approximate 800,000 by 2020, and there will be an estimated of 703,000 new jobs that will be created for nurses by 2014. (Brush, Sochalski, & Berger,2004). In addition, it is projected that the U.S. population is likely to grow by 18% and the older population aged 65+ is projected to increase by three times. With the current shortage of nurses, taking care of the aged population will be challenging. (Aiken, 2007). Based on the looming shortage of nurses in the United States, there is a growing demand to facilitate the migration of foreign graduate nurses to address the nursing shortage. The paper examines the pros and cons of this issue.
Shortcoming of Migration of Foreign Graduate Nurses into the U.S.
One of the shortcomings of facilitating the migration of foreign graduate nurses into the United States is the issue of the cultural and technical competence. A key concern about the recruitment of foreign graduate nurses is whether they will be competent enough to deliver high quality health care service to U.S. patients. Quality health care service delivery refers to the ability of a nurse to perform specific tasks. There is a demand whether the foreign graduate nurses possess the skills and competencies to deliver high quality healthcare.
Another shortcoming is the ability to communicate effectively with patients. In the nursing profession, effective communication is one the tools that could be use to deliver high quality healthcare. The cultural different between the U.S. And the national of foreign graduate nurses may hamper the delivery of quality healthcare. The cultural and communication imbalance between the foreign graduate nurses and the U.S. may affect the delivery of quality healthcare to the U.S. citizen. There is a growing demand whether the foreign graduate nurses could communicate effectively with patients. (Nichols, Davis,. & Richardso,2011).
More shortcoming of the issue is the ethics of recruiting the foreign graduate nurses. It is to be noted that larger percentages of foreign graduate nurses practising in the United States are the national of poorer nations. The sending countries may be greatly affected because of the U.S. decision to recruit graduate nurses from their countries. The issue may lead to the shortage of nurses in the sending countries. The practical implication is that U.S. may be accused of encouraging brain drain in the sending countries.
Despite the identified shortcomings, there are still benefits that the United States will derive from facilitating the migration of foreign graduate nurses.
Benefits of Migration of Foreign Graduate Nurses into the U.S.
The U.S. will derive several benefits from facilitating the migration of foreign graduate nurses. First, the decision to recruit the foreign graduate nurses will address the problem of nursing shortage in the United States. It is to be noted that nurses play a critical role in the delivery of the quality healthcare in the United States. At present, there is ratio imbalance of nurses and the population. Presently, the United States needs to urgently address the problem of nursing shortage if the U.S. should still be regarded as one of the best countries that delivers high quality healthcare. Recruiting the foreign graduate nurses to address the shortage of nurses will enhance the quality of healthcare delivery in the United States.
Another benefit of recruiting foreign graduate nurses is that the issue will improve the quality of nursing education in the United States. One of the major reasons leading to the shortage of nurses in the United States is the lack of resources to train the graduate nurses. (Rosa 2009). Many medical schools have admitted limited number of applicants because of the limited number of staff to train the nursing students. Leonard Fulkerson & Rose (2008) argue that there is a decline of nursing faculty because there is a gradual decline of the academic staff to train the student nurses. As being pointed out by Yun, Jie. & Anli, (2010), "insufficient numbers of nurse educators are an issue and leads to fewer students graduating from nursing schools to keep up with the demand which, ultimately, aggravates the nursing shortage." (P 122). By facilitating the migration of graduate nurses, the United States will benefit from the pool of skilled labor from other countries. Typically, it is estimated that the larger percentages of foreign graduate nurses entering the United States will apply for the Masters and PHD programs within 5 years of being in the U.S. With the increase in the number of students enrolling for Masters and PHD programs in nursing, there will be an increase in the number of medical staff available to train the student nurses, and the problem of shortage of nurses in the United States will be reduced. (Rich, & Nuget, 2010, Duvall, & Andrews 2010).
Moreover, the United States will benefit from the experience, skills, and competencies of foreign graduate nurses. Statistics has revealed that the foreign-trained graduate nurses are from different countries such as Western Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. The U.S. is likely to benefit from the skills and competence of the foreign graduate nurses.
U.S should facilitate the migration of foreign graduate nurses to address the shortage of nurses in the United States. Although, the United States has largest number of professional nurse workforce reaching approximately 3 millions, despite the large number of nursing workforce, the U.S. is stiff being affected by the shortage of nurses. U.S. needs to facilitate the migration of foreign graduate nurses to address the nursing shortage in the United States. Yun, Jie & Anli (2010) argue that the shortage of nurses is one of the major causes…