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In the United States, the nursing profession is the fastest-growing career. The numbers of registered nurses in health facilities continue to decline still as their demand increases. Job growth estimations index by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ nursing among the principal occupations experiencing growth. Expectations are that by the year 2024 more than three million nurses will join the workforce. Projections are that more than one million nursing vacancies will be available as at the year 2022. The existing shortage attributes to the rising number of aged people, cases of increased chronic diseases, the prevalence of an aging nursing labor force and inadequate facilities in nursing education.
Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses also called vocational nurses are among the professions who make up the healthcare fraternity in America. These workers undertake various patient care roles which are vital towards the accomplishment of medical care services. At clinics, hospitals, nursing centers, public healthcare facilities, hospice agencies and home health programs are areas within which these professionals work.
Among the contributing factors for the high health, care demand is associated with the aging generation of baby boomers thus necessitating the provision of more care services.
As at the year 2030, the figure of senior citizens will rise to about sixty-nine million people. Also, approximately eighty million persons as at 2050 in the U.S. will be aged 65 years and above. As the population advances in age, more people will require adequate care services. To sustain life people affected by chronic illnesses especially the aged need more healthcare attention.
Another disturbing factor involves retirement of senior nurses resulting in the shortage. It is challenging to replace the available positions as health facilities are reluctant to recruit young nurses due to experience gap issues. Still nursing education schemes have failed to keep pace. Several other aspects influencing nursing shortage include failure of nursing schools to meet training targets and demand for health care nurses. Lack of enough facilities in nursing training centers and faculties restricts enrolment in the nursing profession. Improper staffing at some health facilities raises the degree of stress in nurses, negatively affecting their job satisfaction and forcing individuals to abandon the career. Some regions seem to have a distribution problem. The Healthcare fraternity should examine and address this shortage by evaluating issues and scenarios leading to job dissatisfaction. (Janiszewski, 2003)
Solutions and strategies to mitigate nurse’s deficit include offering financial compensation through requesting nurses to work extra hours and accept additional work shifts. Other options include encouraging public-private collaborations that give an opportunity for professional nurses to become future nurse educators and trainers. For example, the University of Wisconsin through an initiative called Nurses for Wisconsin funded through a private-public partnership allowed provision scholarships and loan exoneration for future nurses who accepts to offer to train in the state after study completion. In addition to this Nursing colleges and institutions are forming strategic cooperations and associations in a bid to seek private support to help improve student capacity and training facilities. With nurse’s distribution difficulty in which some country parts have plenty supply of nurses and others experience scarcity, adoption of national licensing guidelines for registered nurses would be beneficial. Nurses prefer to undertake their duties in places they can exercise and utilize their knowledge to the full scope given the right conditions. Setting some standards may allow regions with severe shortages to outsource medical staff. Reference Janiszewski Goodin, H. (2003). The nursing shortage in the United States of America: an integrative review of the literature. Journal of advanced nursing, 43(4), 335-343.
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