Discussion post 2 200 words: Nursing shortage and burnout are scary words that we are facing even now in the company where I work. Many think of hospital settings and nursing homes where this usually occurs, but this is happening across the profession of nursing.
Corona Virus has done a number on reducing our nursing workforce across the world. Not only have many nurses died from the virus, but many have left their jobs with a genuine fear that they could be next. Many have quit from being stressed about not having adequate protection, but those that have stayed have gotten burned out from inadequate staffing on covid units. Emotional strain from not taking care of their own health and having to stay home to care for their own children are some other reasons there are shortages currently.
Nursing schools have lower enrollment, and these same schools have had a hard time getting hospitals and other health care facilities to agree to train students as they see them as a liability. These facilities should be using these schools not only to train the students but also to help relieve the strain on nursing staff across the board. To avoid a nursing shortage, we should be looking at our student nurse shortage and focusing our efforts and creativity there.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has developed a fact sheet to portray what is going on in the next eight years with the shortage. They expect the problem will only get worse as baby boomers age and as more nurses retire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we will have about 3.3 million nurses by 2029 but will need 4.5 million to face this issue (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, n.d.).
Some things that might help to reduce the shortage would be to reduce the workload for nurses, increasing job satisfaction, and possibly retaining them longer. This could be done with nursing students—better support for older nurses, especially seeing them as a value to train the younger ones. Increased recruitment for nursing schools, not only for more students but for more nurse educators to continue to train them—many state-wide initiatives are getting money to start programs to increase enrollment of students and train educators who will then stay in the state for a period of time. This is not an easy problem to fix but one that I think we can make great strides toward.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (n.d.). Aacn fact sheet – nursing shortage. https://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Fact-Sheets/Nursing-Shortage
Bowden, V. R. (2021). Predictable Consequences — How Do We Avert a Pediatric Nurse
Shortage? Pediatric Nursing, 47(1), 5–10.