Sample Health Care Essay Paper on Nursing Staff Shortage


Nurses are the primary caregivers and play a critical role in service delivery and
managing the operations of facilities. Many healthcare facilities are targeting highly competent
nurses to enhance their delivery for care and patient safety in serving the various health needs of
the community (Zhang et al., 2017). However, with growing national and old age populations,
the demand for healthcare services is set to increase. The rising demands for healthcare services
are piling pressure on the understaffed nursing department. Besides, health facilities face
imminent risks of compromising quality and incapacitation to address patients' needs. Although
nurses are a crucial component of the healthcare sector, the inadequacy of professionals to fill up
career opportunities is threatening the professional, organizational and national aspirations of
delivering quality care services and enhancing patient safety.
National Health Stressor

The United States is staring at a looming shortage of nursing professionals. The problem
is set to intensify as baby boomers continue to advance in age. The issue is further complicated
by the fact that nursing schools across the country are struggling to enhance their enrolment
capacity to match the rising demands for healthcare services that follow the government's actions
towards healthcare reforms. The shortage of nursing professionals is increasing the workload for
available nurses in health facilities, which brings negative impacts on patient care (De Alwis, &
Kumari, 2015). Moreover, healthcare facilities are likely to experience an increase in medical
errors, further placing patients safety at jeopardy. The American Association of Colleges of
Nursing is collaborating with learning institutions, policy developers, professional organizations
and the media to raise attention about the healthcare issue (The American Association of

Colleges of Nursing, 2019). The agency is leveraging its resources to inform policy, develop
strategies, and form useful networks to intervene for the crisis.
Information Summary

Research by Haddad et al. (2020) reveals the extent of the nursing shortage issue and
explores some of the prominent causes. The survey reveals points at the potential increase of
nursing employment opportunities by 15% throughout the decade. The prominent causes of the
national shortage of nurses include high turnover rate, lack of potential educators, and unequal
distribution of qualified personnel. The rise in the ageing population is driving a significant
portion of the population, including nurses, to retirement. This causes a reduction in the
workforce required to address population health demands. Besides, the older generation have
significantly higher health demands.
Johnson et al. (2016) conduct a study exploring the effects fluctuation of the national
economy and the use of national cumulative and distinctive micro-population information on the
nursing profession. The study reveals that the demand for hospitalized care increases steadily
during the first period during a recession. However, the trend steadies as the economy stabilizes.
The review also points at a trend of healthcare facilities contracting more temporary nurses and
then reducing them by shifting employed nurses from part-time to full-time employment. The
substitution trend of nurses employed on temporary basis highlights the need to reduce staffing
costs to curtail the rise of uncompensated care.

Strategies for Resolving Nursing Staff Crisis

Healthcare facilities must be proactive to meet the rising demands of competent nurses to
provide the best quality and safest care for patients. To avert the risks attached to the healthcare
stressor, organizational managements must focus on creating empowering environments to

empower and motivate nurses in their line of duty. Moves such as incentivizing acceptable
practices and supporting training initiatives are vital to rejuvenate and maintain a productive
workforce. Empowering autonomy in staffing ratio decisions while taking into considerations the
acuity levels and high volume translates to reduced burnout and lessens the desire to leave the
workforce (Cope et al., 2016). Healthcare organizations are beginning to endorse the Magnet
Certification model as a formidable means of providing superior nursing processes to enhance
the quality of care, patients' safety and overall satisfaction.

Arguably, nurses form a vital component of the healthcare delivery unit. However, the
inadequacy of nursing professionals translates to high error rates that result in higher morbidity
and mortality incidences. Also, the growing demands of healthcare services increase pressure on
the workforce resulting in burnout and dissatisfaction; thus exposing clients to a considerable
amount of risks. Hence, organizations must be proactive to address the acute shortage of
competent nurses to facilitate the attainment of professional, organizational, and national goals of
delivering top-quality care and enhancing patient safety.



The American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2019). AACN fact sheet – Nursing shortage.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Cope, V., Jones, B., & Hendricks, J. (2016). Why nurses chose to remain in the workforce:
Portraits of resilience. Collegian, 23(1), 87-
De Alwis, C. A., & Kumari, M. H. (2015). The nursing shortage impact on job outcome (The
case in Sri Lanka). Journal of Competitiveness, 7(3), 75-
Haddad LM, Annamaraju P, Toney-Butler TJ. (2020) Nursing shortage. In: StatPearls. Treasure
Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from:
Johnson, W. G., Butler, R., Harootunian, G., Wilson, B., & Linan, M. (2016). Registered nurses:
The curious case of a persistent shortage. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48(4), 387-
Zhang, X., Tai, D., Pforsich, H., & Lin, V. W. (2017). United States registered nurse workforce
report card and shortage forecast: A revisit. American Journal of Medical Quality, 33(3),