Shortage of Nurses in the Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

" (Albaugh) study by Aiken et al. (2001) ascertained that the job dissatisfaction experienced by nurses was due to staff shortages and the fact that this resulted in nurses not being able to provide effective and high - quality care. This study also reiterated the fact that nurses felt that there often not consulted in important policy decisions, which had a negative effect on their level of work satisfaction.

These findings are linked to other issues which show that the shortage of nursing staff is very closely related to the perception that the working conditions often do not permit the development and attainment of a high standard of excellence in the profession. As one study indicated: " Specifically, 75% of nurses surveyed feel the quality of nursing care at the facility in which they work has declined over the past two years, while 56% of nurses surveyed believe that the time they have available for patient care has decreased." (NURSES CONCERNED OVER WORKING CONDITIONS, DECLINE IN QUALITY OF CARE, ANA SURVEY REVEALS)

The above views and findings are strongly related to the changed situation and status of women in the modern world. Simply put, women have more power of choice and have more work opportunities available to them than in the past. Previously women could only find employment in certain occupations. This has changed and has also led to the fact that if a nurse finds her working conditions to be unacceptable there are many other opportunities for work. This point is clearly summarized by Dworkin. "The new career opportunities open to women provide an... explanation for the nursing shortage. When nursing was one of the few career paths available, it had a captive labor pool. Now that other, more lucrative opportunities beckon -- for example, medical school -- women are less likely to choose nursing."(Dworkin)

The above is also strongly related to another important factor; namely the fact that nursing is often perceived to have a lower professional status than many other medial professions. This is turn provides further motivation to choose other professions.

Because nursing lacks an independent scientific base, young women must weigh years of education and hard work against the prospects of tenuous professional status at best. And since the nursing leadership repudiates the older ideal of nursing as a career well-suited to a woman's special attributes, young women see little in nursing that is honorable or distinctive.



As Albaugh points out the various causes of the nursing shortage are interrelated and there is no one dominant cause for this situation. "Many factors contribute to nurse dissatisfaction and subsequent turnover and burn out. In light of the current nursing shortage, it is essential and cost-effective to retain nurses in their specific jobs and within the profession. There is no single, simple reason or solution for professional staff nurse turnover. " (Albaugh,)

In other words, solutions to the problem must address a wide range of issues and take into account the way that the nurse perceives his or her profession. "Thus, the profession must address the immediate issues of workforce recruitment and retention by educating new nurses and keeping current ones working within nursing, quelling the loss of any more of our valuable working expert professionals." (Albaugh)

Works Cited

Aiken, L.H. Clarke, S.P., Sloane, D.M., Sochaiski, J.A., & Silber, J.H. (2002).

Hospital nurse staffing and patient mortality, nurse burnout, and job dissatisfaction. Journal of the American Medical Association, 288(16), 1987-1993.

Albaugh, Jeffrey A. (2003) Keeping nurses in nursing: the profession's challenge for today. Urologic Nursing; 6/1/2003;

Condition: Critical; Long Hours, Burn out contributes to Nursing Shortage in Hospitals. (2002, December 15). The Washington Times, p. A01.

Dworkin, Ronald W. "Where Have All the Nurses Gone?" Public Interest Summer

2002: 23+.

Leveck, M.L., & Jones, C.B. The nursing practice environment, staff retention, and quality of care. Research in Nursing and Health, 19(4), 331-343. 1996.

McFarland, G.K., Leonard, H.S., & Morris, MM. Nursing leadership and management: Contemporary strategies. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1984.


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