Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Addressing The Impacts Of The Nursing Shortage

by | Feb 22, 2023 | Blog, Industry News

Addressing the nursing shortage is essential in providing adequate medical care. There are numerous reasons why it’s so severe and persistent, but we must approach this issue holistically and identify all of the contributing factors. Furthermore, nursing organizations and professional associations have a unique opportunity to address this matter. 

The nursing shortage has been accumulating for decades. Addressing the nursing shortage isn’t just about finding new nurses but also about keeping our current workforce healthy and well-trained. This blog post will examine the role of professional nursing organizations (PNOs) in addressing the nursing shortage. 


What’s In The Article?

  • Causes Of The Nursing Shortage
  • Addressing The Nursing Shortage 
  • The Role Of Organizations In Addressing The Nursing Shortage
  • Importance Of Working With Other Organizations
  • Final Thoughts


Causes Of The Nursing Shortage

The reasons for the nursing shortage are numerous and diverse. Here are some examples:

  • An aging population with a higher incidence of chronic illness
  • An increase in demand for healthcare services as our population grows, particularly in rural areas and inner cities
  • A shift away from hospital-based care towards outpatient settings such as clinics or home visits

Many are leaving the profession due to specific issues in their working conditions, including inadequate staffing and insufficient time for patient care. Furthermore, many nurses are dissatisfied with their pay and benefits packages.

Some of them report having no control over their schedules or the resources available for providing care (e.g., supplies). Many nurses also feel a lack of management support and discrimination from colleagues and patients.

Other reasons for switching jobs include location of residence (work site) and a lack of time for patient care, which can lead to burnout or even depression in nurses who work long shifts without breaks.


Addressing The Nursing Shortage 

Nursing shortages causes an increasing concern among healthcare leaders and organizations. Nurses are in high demand, with approximately 203,200 job openings expected yearly. Because of the aging population, which have increased demand for nurses’ services, healthcare facilities are struggling to fill these positions and address this workforce shortage. Below is a list of suggestions for how hospitals can attract new nurses:

  • Provide flexible working hours so that nurses can balance their personal and professional lives.
  • Offer competitive salaries that reflect the prestige or location of your hospital.
  • Consider providing tuition discounts or scholarships to students who would otherwise be unable to afford nursing school tuition.


Improving Work Environment

Improving the working environment is a significant factor in nursing retention. Nurses are more likely to leave if they think they are overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated. The following can help to enhance the working environment:

  • Allow enough time for breaks.
  • Ensure your nurses have enough equipment and supplies, so they don’t have to run around looking for things when needed.


Nursing Shortage


Training And Retaining Nurses

Addressing the nursing shortage includes investigating the underlying causes of the issue. One factor is that fewer people are enrolling in and graduating from nursing schools. The retention rate of newly hired RNs varies greatly depending on state regulations and hospital policies. Many factors contribute to retention issues, such as a lack of career advancement opportunities, poor working conditions,  and burnout due to heavy workloads. 

Learning how to recruit and retain the best nurses will help healthcare organizations deal with the effects of the nursing shortage. Furthermore, training and education can prepare nurses to develop their skills, adapt to advancements in their field, and expand their knowledge. Proper training enables them to deal with work pressure, one of the workforce issues that contribute to the nursing shortage.


The Role Of Organizations In Addressing The Nursing Shortage

Nursing organizations and professional associations can help address the nursing shortage in various ways. They can assist in recruiting and retaining nurses by promoting their profession, educating people about its benefits, improving pay and benefits for nurses, and attracting more people to the profession.

Another option is to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to solve the problem. Nursing organizations should also work with government agencies since they have the power to influence legislation that affects healthcare policy.

For instance, the American Hospital Association (AHA) collaborates with other stakeholders to support legislation  that strengthens the healthcare workforce. The organization supported the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, created to address and prevent mental health issues among healthcare workers. Organizations like the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) also provide scholarships for undergraduate nursing students. PNOs should encourage their members to participate in continuing education opportunities to provide better patient care. 

Nursing organizations can address staffing issues and retention by promoting work-life balance and forming collaborative teams. They should also address workforce issues such as shift lengths and total hours worked per day or week.


They help to promote a culture of nursing.

Nurses need to feel appreciated and supported. Nursing organizations can help to foster a nursing culture by:

  • Promoting the advantages of nursing as a career choice by emphasizing nurses’ interpersonal skills, ability to work in teams, and ability to make decisions based on patient needs
  • Emphasizing the importance of nurses having autonomy over their schedules to balance work and family life


They advocate for policy decisions that support nursing.

Nursing organizations should listen to nurses and support them in their advocacy efforts. Advocacy is an important aspect of nursing practice. Nurses must advocate for policy changes since these can help improve health outcomes. Advocacy can also take many forms, including: 

  • Speaking up when you see something wrong
  • Bringing people together around an important cause
  • Collaborating with legislators on legislation pertaining to their field of expertise 


Importance Of Working With Other Organizations

Nursing associations with a common vision and mission must work together to address the nursing shortage. Helping one another will allow as create a culture where nurses feel valued, respected, and supported. Nursing associations’ role is to advocate for the interests of their members. However, they must proactively accomplish this by collaborating with other organizations and holding open discussions about issues affecting nurses.


Final Thoughts

The nursing shortage is a complex issue that necessitates a multifaceted solution. Improving the work environment, training and retaining nurses, and confronting the nursing shortage head-on are all critical steps in addressing the nursing shortage.

Nursing associations play an important role in addressing the nursing shortage but cannot do so alone. Improving the working environment and training and retaining nurses are all important steps in addressing the nursing shortage.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments