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Analysis of Nursing Shortage as a National Health Care IssueAnthony OkongwuWalden UniversityNURS – 6053N-42: Interprofessional Organizational and Systems LeadershipMarch 8, 20201
Nursing Shortage as a National Health Care IssueNurses make up the majority of healthcare professionals in the United States, and theyplay one of the most significant roles in patient care and safety. The shortage of nursescompromises the effectiveness of the crucial roles they play, affects the functionality of healthcare organizations in many aspects, and invariably affects patients care outcomes. According toMarshall & Broome (2017), the population of nurses available to serve in health care today isaffected by factors such as shortage of nursing faculty and the newer system of care delivery,which demands the services of nurses in a nontraditional clinical setting. Other factorscontributing to nursing shortage according to American Association of Colleges of Nursing(AACN), (2019), include the number of nurses retiring higher than those entering the workforce,inadequate staffing, and unhealthy work environment causing experienced nurses to be leavingthe nursing field at a high rate. Nonetheless, health care organizations are implementingevidence-based strategies in combating the shortage of nurses in their health care settings. Thepurpose of this paper is to describe nursing shortage as a national issue, its impact on myorganization, a summary of two works of literature on the subject, and how the strategiesdescribed in the works of literature for addressing nursing shortage may affect the organizationwhere I practice. A nursing shortage occurs when the number of nurses needed to work is higher than thesupply. According to AACN (2019), the estimate by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates thatRegistered Nurses (RN) are expected to be among the occupations that will experience high jobgrowth from 2016 through 2026. The estimated RN workforce growth from 2016 to 2026 is twomillion nine hundred thousand to three million four hundred thousand (AACN, 2019). An extra2
two hundred and three thousand seven hundred fresh RNs are needed to fill the newly createdpositions and the vacuum created by retiring nurses (AACN, 2019). The shortage of nursespersists because of an imbalance in demand and supply of nurses. This imbalance is a result ofthe number of registered nurses produced by nursing schools less than the number of vacantpositions. For example, eighty percent of baccalaureate-prepared nurses (BPN) is in demand in2010, but only fifty-six percent of BPN or graduate-level nurses were produced (AACN, 2019).Besides, according to AACN (2019), the low supply of fresh graduates is because of lackof the sufficient number of nursing faculty evidenced by the rejection of over seventy-fivethousand qualified applicants by nursing schools in 2018 due to shortage of nursing faculty,clinical sites, clinical preceptors, classrooms, and funds. Also, more nurses are retiring because