Policies in Healthcare

Select an article that discusses the issue of scarce resources-nursing shortage, supply
shortage, anticipated retirement, leadership succession, generational preferences, and so
forth-and that suggests at least one strategy for addressing the problem.
Write a 350- to 700-word editorial response to the article, citing your agreements or
disagreements and suggesting one new strategy to resolve the issue.
Plan to discuss your analysis in class. The following is a suggested outline for the
assignment:
Define the issue.
Describe five influencing factors.
Cite the data from three or more sources to support the importance of the issue.
Address the challenges and consequences of not addressing the issue.
Propose a solution or innovation.
Define economic investment needed and why the lay public should join in these efforts

Policies in Healthcare
The issue

The US is expected to experience a registered nurses’ shortage. Worse still, this is
anticipated to intensify as the Baby Boomers generation ages and healthcare need grows. The
problem is compounded by the fact that across the country, nursing schools are making efforts to
expand capacity so as the meet the increasing need for care considering the national move
towards healthcare reform (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2014). Therefore, the
AACN (American Association for Colleges of Nursing) is collaborating with policy makers,
schools, media, and nursing organizations to bring attention that the concern warrants. Moreover,
AACN is leveraging its resources so as to identify strategies, shape legislation, and create
collaborations aimed at addressing the shortage.
Influencing factors

Regardless of the fact that AACN recorded a 2.6 percent increased baccalaureate
programs’ entry-level in the year 2013, this enrollment is inadequate to meet the expected
nursing services’ demand. In addition, there is a nursing school faculty shortage that is restricting
enrollment. In the year 2012m 79,659 qualified graduate and baccalaureate nursing programs’

POLICIES IN HEALTHCARE 2
applicants were turned away as a result of inadequate clinical sites, number of faculty, clinical
preceptors, classroom space, and budget constraints (American Association of Colleges of
Nursing, 2014).
A majority of the nursing workforce will soon be fifty years or more, which means that
they will retire and leave a large gap. The changing demographics indicate a need for many other
nurses who will care for the aging population. A critical nurses’ shortage is anticipated in future
since demographic pressured have an impact on demand and supply.
Challenges and consequences

Inadequate staffing is linked to the increased levels of stress among nurse, which leads to
reduced job satisfaction and high turnovers. Currently, more than seventy five of the registered
nurses hold the belief that nursing shortage bring about major challenges in regard to their work
life’s quality, patient care quality, and the time nurses may spend with nurses. In future, the
surveyed nurses predicted that this shortage would be a catalyst for escalated nurses’ stress
(98%), lowered patient care quality (93%), and the cause for nurses leaving the profession (93%)
(American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2014).
Nurses report greater job dissatisfaction as well as emotional exhaustion if they cared for more
patients than the recommended safe amount. Greater patient loads lead to higher levels of
hospital readmission, longer hospital stays, increased infections, reduced quality of care, more
medical errors, and higher patient injuries and deaths (American Association of Colleges of
Nursing, 2014).

Proposed solution

So as to address the nursing shortage challenge, there is a need to develop and implement
solid strategies. There is a need to ensure that there are adequate resources and facilities through

POLICIES IN HEALTHCARE 3
which nursing students can acquire quality education. This will ensure that more students are
admitted and if possible, none have their applications rejected. There should also be more
vacancies for graduate and baccalaureate nursing programs. In addition to this, it is important to
improve nurses’ working conditions so as to ensure that none leave their profession. For
example, nurses should have better pays and should be allowed to care for reasonable number of
patients.
Economic investment needed and the need for the lay public to join these efforts
Nursing schools should form strategic partnerships and seek private support so as to
promote increased student capacity (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2014). More
funds should be dedicated for supporting inter-professional engagement, funding additional
faculty, and expanding clinical placement sites. The lay public should be engaged in encouraging
more students to apply for nursing courses so as to improve patient care.

POLICIES IN HEALTHCARE 4

Reference

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2014). Nursing Shortage.

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