Nurse Shortage & Plans for Recruitment and Retention - Health care Essay Example

There are many major challenges facing the nursing shortage environment today - Nurse Shortage & Plans for Recruitment and Retention introduction. One of those challenges includes the facility recruitment of registered nurses and then the facility retention of the registered nurses that they have recruited. Factors to consider would be as to why a registered nurse chose to accept a particular job and will they choose to stay at the facility after being given an employment opportunity. A facility’s reputation, union status, autonomy and salary are among some of the factors that influence recruitment.

Factors that influence retention includes the inclusion in decision making, practice autonomy, workers, work load, management’s respect of the workers, and shifts worked. It is expensive for any facility to recruit a registered nurse. According to a recent study by CB Jones, it costs between $62,100 and $67,100 to replace one registered nurse. (Jones, 2005) The cost of human turnover and subsequent recruiting often is not discussed. When there is a nurse vacancy, that particular nurses’ workload has to be incorporated into the workload of another nurse. The nurse or nurses that take on the workload are not necessarily going to be paid more.

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It’s a grin and bear it type of situation where everyone has to work together as a team. When a new nurse has finally been recruited, they have to go through an extensive orientation for the culture of the particular unit they are assigned to. Then retention comes into place. Now we have the new nurse in place, how do we go about keeping her? Retention can also be a major challenge for a facility. So how do we recruit and retain these nursing staffs? Define the Problem It has been projected that the U. S. will experience an intensified shortage of registered nurses as the baby boomers age and the need for health care grows. AACN, 2012) To add intensity to the problem, the nursing schools are struggling with recruiting students to meet the demand for this new healthcare reform that arising.

This has become a major healthcare concern. Between 2009 and 2030, it is projected that the shortage of nurses will spread across the country most intensely in the South and the West according to the “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast. ” (AJMQ 2012) The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is currently working with nursing organizations, policy makers, the media, and various schools to address this growing concern.

Literature Review The fact is that there is definitely a shortage of nurses, and the numbers are going to grow in the years forthcoming. The statistics on the shortage are constantly changing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that registered nurses make up approximately 2. 6 million of the U. S. jobs. These jobs are in arenas such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, home health services, nursing care facilities, employment services, and government and social assistance agencies/educational services. That number is expected to grow to approximately 3. 2 million by the year 2018.

In the year 2010, the United States faced a shortage of about 275,000 nurses. It is projected that by 2015 that number will have grown to approximately 500,ooo, and 800,000 by 2020. As the population gets older, more nurses are expected to retire. There are many reasons given for the shortage of nurses ranging from the demographics of the population, the employment patterns of women, nursing work, and the health care system itself. Some of those reasons include: Increased demand as the population ages. Eighteen percent growth overall and 54 percent growth overall for those with more health care needs. Other career options.

There is a range of other career opportunities that are being considered, especially for those born after the 1950s. Work environment and workload. Hospitals have reduced their staffing and mandatory overtime policies have been implemented for the registered nurses to ensure coverage for the unexpected increase of patients. Image. The media diverts the attention of the young adults who may be interested in nursing by focusing on the challenges that nurse’s face rather than the aspects of the career that are rewarding. Problem Analysis With a shortage of nurses, the care and safety of patients may become ompromised. The nurses themselves may be having feelings of dissatisfaction, overwhelm and distress.

Nurses who may become overwhelmed with the high number of patients may become frustrated and burnt out. And inadequate staff of nurses may lead to a negative impact on the patient’s outcome. The quality of care the patients may receive in facilities with low staffing may be poor. There are a number of factors that contribute to the impact of the nursing shortage. Low nursing school enrollment. The projected demand for nursing services is not being met with the low enrollment.

In 2011, the AACN reported there was only a 5. 1% increase in enrollment in entry-level nursing programs. Faculty shortage in nursing schools. With not enough faculty teaching in the nursing schools, it restricts the number of program enrollments. Nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from their baccalaureate and graduate programs in 2011 because of insufficient staffing, classroom space, budget constraints, clinical sites and clinical preceptors according to a report issued by the AACN. The average age of nurses is climbing. The average age of nurses reported in 2012 was 44. 5 years of age.

The largest segment of the nursing workforce is expected to be nurses in their 50s. Changing demographics. As the baby boomers get older, their health care needs are expanding, which will impact the future demand for more nurses. Elevated stress levels. With the insufficient staffing, the current nurses are overwhelmed with responsibilities, therefore, resulting in high stress levels, poor job satisfaction, and no motivation to stay on the job. This also limits the amount of time that the nurses can spend with the patients and impacts the quality of care given to the patients. Possible Solutions

Encouragement is needed for the deployment and development of the nursing personnel with the appropriate skills. Regardless of the pressures that relate to the short-term demand for nursing services, there must be ongoing long-term workforce planning by the policy makers, public and the profession. Measures must be put in place to reverse these trends; otherwise, we are in danger of experiencing some serious health care system breakdowns. It is costly to develop strategies for recruiting and retaining nurse personnel. The Tri-Council members of The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), The American Nurses Association (ANA), The

American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), and The National League for Nursing (NLN) suggested the following recommendations: Education Develop career progression initiatives to accelerate the nursing graduates through their studies; Identify available options beyond entry-level such as administrator, researcher or faculty; Establish a system of education and practice to promote more compensation in the community of health care; Assist health care employers in creating and sustaining staff development programs and continuous growth; Use counselors, schools, and youth organizations to reach out to the youth for future possibilities.

Work Environment Retaining the experienced nurses by implementing strategies such as: Allowing for more flexibility; Give recognition to the experienced nurses who serve as mentors for the new nurses; Implement appropriate salary and benefit programs. Advance the practice of nursing by creating a partnership environment: Establish appropriate management structures; Ensuring adequate nurse staffing; Offering the nurses independency. Redesign the work to enable the current nurses who are aging to stay active in their direct care roles. Legislation and Regulation

Suggest an increase in the funding of nurse education for improving the capacity and resources for education; Within Medicaid, Medicare and other systems of reimbursement, propose for better identification for the registered nursing services. The National Student Nurses’ Association has a nursing breakthrough project that I think is a great tool that informs juniors and seniors in high school about the nursing opportunities that are available. To attract the attention of these students, they use tools such as live videos and pamphlets.

The videos show other high school students who have taken an interest and made a decision to enter into the nursing world. They tell their testimonies about the values of the profession and the reason they chose to go into nursing. The pamphlets explain what nursing is, how to apply to nursing school, what nursing school is actually like, the paths of education to becoming a nurse, the salary, benefits and license requirements, and then lists other resources where information about nursing is available.

These recommendations are going to take the work of many people and organizations coming together and supporting one another. One specific institute cannot implement all that is needed alone. Team work will be become very important. Strategies for retaining the nursing workforce are also needed. Implementing policies that will rebuild the nursing leadership roles will be necessary. Higher satisfaction and better patient care may also be gained by involving the nurses in the design of the staff and overtime policies.

Policies that improve the overall hospital or facility work environment are among the most important considerations. Justification The nursing shortage of today is very real and very different from anything in the past. The shortage is evident by the few nurses that are entering the workforce. There is an acute shortage of nurses in certain geographic areas, and there is a shortage of nurses who are properly trained or prepared to work in certain areas to meet the needs of the patients in this changing healthcare environment.

The growing realization is that there is inadequate supply of prepared nurses to meet the needs and demands of the population requiring health care attention. This problem will become more serious over the next 20 years if something is not done. The largest number of health care professionals is currently comprised of nurses. Within the nursing profession, statistics indicate that there has been a steady increase in nurses who are entering the profession. The problem still lies in retaining them in the profession. Much work is still needed and will be ongoing now and well into the future.

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