The nursing shortage is the most significant setback experienced across the health ministry docket across the globe. It is critical to address this challenge to save the situation in the hospitals. The rising elderly population creates additional responsibilities for nurses, while the retention of the professionals is a significant problem due to job-related fatigue, and many students drop out of nursing colleges within the first year of enrolment.
Advancement in medicine has impacted life expectancy significantly. Having accessibility to improved care has contributed to a rise in the elderly population size. Previously, chronic conditions such as diabetes claimed the lives of young and mid-aged citizens in large numbers. However, presently, victims can survive up to old age due to improvement in disease management. As a result, the elderly population is high, and most of the senior citizens live with chronic conditions (Abellanoza, Provenzano‐Hass, & Gatchel, 2018). Therefore, increased responsibilities of attending to the elderly have impacted nurse shortage significantly.
The increased responsibilities in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities contribute to burnout and fatigue. Rigid working schedules demotivate nurses, and they quit nursing at a high rate to find more satisfactory careers (Abellanoza et al., 2018). In 2016, for example, hospitals across the U.S. reported a 16.5% turnover rate (Dewanto & Wardhani, 2018). Analysts project the rate to double by 2030 given the number of nurses who express dissatisfaction in their roles in job satisfaction surveys. Besides the high turnover rate among nurses, the number of students enrolling for nursing careers has decreased significantly (Dube & Mlotshwa, 2018). Most of the individuals joining college choose other disciplines. Similarly, most of the students enrolled in nursing courses change their courses within the first year of college.
Conclusively, the nursing shortage results from an increase in aging population, low enrolment and high dropout rate in nursing colleges, and mass resignation due to job dissatisfaction. The aging American population is high due to accessibility to better medical care. As a result, nurses have an extra responsibility of caring for the elderly. Besides, fatigued nurses quit their careers in preference for other professions. Similarly, learners who register for nursing courses are few, while many do not make it to graduation due to a high dropout rate. The nursing shortage is a global challenge that needs an urgent resolution.
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