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Nursing Shortage Impacts On Military And Veteran’s Healthcare System

by | Feb 24, 2023 | Blog, Industry News

The nursing shortage impacts military and veteran’s healthcare system as the population ages. Nurses are essential members of the military healthcare system but are not always easy to find. The healthcare system is one of the most important aspects of any military, veteran, or civilian community. The availability of medical facilities and services in a given area can significantly impact people’s overall well-being. Military veterans need to have access to quality healthcare providers. In this article, we’ll look at what happens when there aren’t enough nurses in these medical facilities and how nursing shortage impacts military and veteran’s health. 


What’s In The Article?

  • The Importance Of Military And Veteran’s Healthcare
  • Nursing Shortage In Rural Areas
  • Challenges In The Military Healthcare
  • How Nursing Shortage Impacts Military And Veteran’s Healthcare
  • Final Thoughts


The Importance Of Military And Veteran’s Healthcare

Nurses are essential in providing healthcare services to military personnel, their families, and retirees. They are also critical in providing care to veterans who have been injured while serving or who have developed illnesses or injuries after leaving active duty.

Since nursing shortages exist at all levels of healthcare, it takes longer than usual for new nurses to be trained, particularly in rural facilities that serve many veterans who live far from major urban centers. It results in fewer available nurses, which leads to longer treatment wait times if there aren’t enough qualified staff members on-site when needed.

Nursing shortages are a national issue, and they negatively impact the healthcare systems of the military and veterans. The Bureau Of Labor and Statistics (BLS) projects that by 2031, registered nurses’ employment growth will reach more than three million. Several factors contribute to this shortage, including the following:

  • An aging workforce
  • Increased demand for services 
  • Ineffective recruitment strategies
  • Low wages in comparison to other industries
  • Poor working conditions, such as long working hours

With so many staffing gaps in hospitals nationwide, it’s no surprise that many military medical facilities are also experiencing staffing issues.


Nursing Shortage In Rural Areas

In rural areas, nursing shortages are especially acute, where few nurses can fill positions. It’s difficult for hospitals and clinics to recruit and retain nurses who want to live in more urban areas.  Veterans living in these areas may have difficulty getting the care they need since there aren’t enough registered nurses available at local hospitals or clinics. It can result in delayed diagnosis, treatment plans being changed without explanation from providers, and increased anxiety about whether or not treatment will be successful. All these factors can contribute to depression symptoms in veterans who have PTSD.


Nursing Shortage


Challenges In The Military Healthcare

The nursing shortage impacts military healthcare and has become more severe in recent years. This crisis is complex, involving issues such as recruitment and retention, as well as increased demand for health services due to an aging population and rising obesity rates, among other factors. The military has difficulty recruiting new nurses because the pay and benefits are lower than in civilian hospitals. Nurses who join the military frequently leave after a few years for better-paying jobs that offer more flexibility, more time with family, or simply less stress. They may also be frustrated by their work schedules, which do not allow enough time off between deployments.

In response to the shortage, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been forced to hire foreign nurses to fill gaps left by US citizens who choose not to serve in the military or leave after completing basic training since they find it difficult to work in such an environment.


How Nursing Shortage Impacts Military And Veteran’s Healthcare

The nursing shortage has serious implications for veterans’ healthcare. Veteran and military medical centers are facing nursing shortages, which can lead to longer wait times for procedures affecting patient care. The time it takes to train a nurse limits the number of available nurses, so this problem will only worsen as more positions become vacant. A shortage of qualified professionals may result in longer wait times, causing treatments to be delayed or even not completed at all.

One of the most serious consequences of the nursing shortage is that it can cause delays in treatment plans and surgeries. This is how the nursing shortage affects patient care, which could be worse for veterans. It could lead to complications or even death if they don’t receive proper medical attention when it is needed.

Veterans are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis as they have served our country in times of war or peace. These preventable illnesses can cause debilitating disabilities if not treated properly by qualified health professionals like RNs.

Some nurses are not trained to provide veterans’ care, and many feel unprepared to deal with their unique needs. It can result in errors or even patient harm, with long-term consequences for patients and their families.


Final Thoughts

The military healthcare system’s nursing shortage has serious consequences for both veterans and active-duty military personnel. Healthcare quality and access are affected due to longer wait times at clinics and hospitals. The VA must address the nursing shortage immediately to ensure veterans’ access to care. 

The organization should collaborate with schools to recruit more nurses, as well as with other organizations that may be able to assist in filling open positions within their facilities. The effects of the nursing shortage on veterans’ healthcare systems are exacerbated when we consider who uses them: older Americans who are more likely to require medical care and those who have served our country during wartime. Military veterans and their families must have access to high-quality healthcare, but this will only be possible if enough nurses go around.

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