There is talk that the nursing shortage is over, but the facts show that there is a substantial nursing shortage which is projected to intensify over the next several years. This fact alone will increase the demand on the remaining nurses leading to nurse burn out and increased turnover rates. Nurses are the largest group of health care professionals in America, but the majority of the nurses are close to retirement age (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2010).
This paper will address the issue of nursing shortage, nurse turnover and how nurse leaders and managers are approaching these issues, along with the personal and professional philosophy of nursing of the author of this paper.
There are many reasons why a nursing shortage exists, and why it is only going to get worse over the next several years. The median age of the nursing workforce is 46 years of age and almost 50 percent of all nurses are close to retirement, which will substantially impact the nursing shortage (American Nurses Association, 2013).
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 ensures that every American have access to affordable health care (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2013). This places an additional demand for nurses, and further increases the shortage. The results of the advances in medicine has increased the average life span, increasing the number of people living with chronic illness, and also increasing patient acuity levels which in turn increases the demand for advanced educated practioners.
Nursing colleges and universities across the county are struggling to expand their enrollment levels in order to meet the rising demand for nursing care (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). Reductions in nursing budgets together with the growing nursing shortage has resulted in nurses working more, taking care of sicker patients and at risk for making mistakes. This further complicates the nursing shortage as this type of environment only drives the current nursing force away from the bedside.
The current Registered Nurse turnover rate is 14% (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). One incentive that management and leadership nurses should be aspiring to is Magnet Status. The American Nurses Association in 1990 developed the Magnet status in an effort to reward hospitals that attract and retain nurses who demonstrate excellence in nursing practice (American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2013).