National Nursing Shortages
The dynamic of healthcare today is centered around the nurse. Never before has there been a focus on the role a nurse fills in the workplace. Nursing schools of all different completion lengths and requirements are opening to get the masses to enroll. Even though enrollment is up in nursing schools, it is not keeping pace with the increase in the need for nursing services (Nurse Journal, 2022). Nurse agencies have capitalized on the demand for nurses, too, by pursuing the already credentialed and licensed professionals. This paper will address our national healthcare stressor of nursing shortages, nursing agencies, and practices to get nurses, how agency nurses are treated in the workplace, and how the stressor may impact my work.
Assistant professor Brenda Freshman, Ph.D., said empowering nurses to participate in clinical decision-making and giving them the support needed is a part of interpersonal relations (Walden University, 2015). Prior to the pandemic of COVID in 2020, nurses were becoming in demand as healthcare technologies evolved and medicines elongated the life span of people. When the pandemic hit, it only placed more of a pull on the strain on nurse supply in facilities. During the national emergency, physical and psychological well-being issues of those nurses were heightened as they did not see the end to a national medical crisis. Nurses even decided to leave healthcare.
Leaders must be facile with issues of disruptive innovations in healthcare, competition, changes in payment models used in care delivery across settings, regulations, and social determinants of health as those factors together influence the effectiveness of the care delivery system (Broome, 2021). Promises to healthcare executives to relieve their nurse shortage is to bring skilled nurses that will supply the need. Large payments to these nurses have been one common denominator. These agencies advertise to nurses in major metropolitan areas to go to other like cities and remote sites too. Management sees these nurses as a “dime a dozen” with large turnovers if a nurse is not what was expected. They call the recruiters and get another nurse for the next shift. However, when the agency nurse arrives, there is some relief felt by peer nurses who have been working extra shifts for long periods. Thereby, the staff nurses sometimes feel slighted when hearing the wages and unique treatments like housing and food stipends provided to agency nurses.
All mentioned items affect me in my work setting in several ways. Every other shift, there is a change in the nurse that has to be partnered to get tasks accomplished. This can be counterproductive. The experiences of these nurses are limited as they are newer nurses at times and very competent at others. Now the Tri-Council for Nursing has a program- the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN), which has concluded a four-year project designed to identify and develop the most promising strategies for creating a more highly educated nursing workforce (Gerardi, 2018). So, it is nice to have vacancies filled so that the workload on a shift is more manageable.
In conclusion, “There has been a flurry of proposed legislation to better regulate staffing agencies, as those in the sector continue to charge soaring prices for much-needed staff in nursing homes” (Stulick, 2022). The nursing shortages have been felt nationally. Agency nurses should be seen as an extension of staff nurses, and I can feel a sigh of relief when a shift has corrected nurse-to-patient ratios.
Broome, M., & Marshall, E. S. (2021). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert
clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer. Page 40.
Gerardi, T., Farmer, P., & Hoffman, B. (2018). Moving closer to the 2020 BSN-prepared
workforce goal. American Journal of Nursing, 118(2), 43–45.
Nurse Journal. (2022 March 2). The U.S. nursing shortage: A state-by-state breakdown.
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Stulick, A. (2022 May 30). Nursing homes see movement on staffing agency reform. Skilled
Nursing News. Retrieved from, https://skillednursingnews.com/2022/05/nursing-homes-see-movement-on-staffing-agency-reform/
Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2015). Leading in healthcare organizations of the future
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