Posted: June 27th, 2015

Nurse Staffing (Registered Nurses RN) shortage in the work place

Nurse Staffing (Registered Nurses RN) shortage in the work place


Nearly every person’s health care encounters involve the participation of a registered nurse. Death and birth, and other forms of medical care incidences are done with the skills, support, knowledge of registered nurses. Few careers offer such a privilege. Yet the United States is facing a gradual increase in the shortage of registered nurses. When the number of nurses decrease, the safety of patients is compromised, and the quality of health care is eroded. The capability of the health sector to respond to massive casualty incidents is seriously compromised, and access to essential critical care may be restricted.


Everyone experiencessome sort of pain in life at one point or another. Pain is often categorise as either being chronic or acute. Acute pain like pain resulting from operation tends to decrease as the healing process continues. On the other hand chronic pain is consistent and segmented into cancer associated pain and nonmalignant pain like arthiritis, peripheral neuropathy and pain of the lower back. Inadequately controlled pain can result into adverse psychological and physical patient results which may have a negative impact on the patients and their families. It is known that continuos uncontrolled pain stimulates the pituitary adrenal axis, tha suppresses the body’s immune system and may lead to postsurgical infections and slow healing of wounds. Persistent uncontrolled pain also has a detrimental effect on the psychological condition of the patient and pateints family, common psychological reactions to pain may include depression and anxiety (Nichols, Davis & Richardson, 2011).

The persistent shortage of nursing staff is already having adverse effects on the American health care system. It is estimated that about 90% of organization that offer long term care lack adequate nurse staffing to deal with even the most basic forms of health care. This has forced most home health care institutions not to accept new admissions, and there are about 126,000 nursing vacancies open across the country. The bad situation is just about to get worse because the staff from the baby boom generation continues to age. As a result of this anticipated increase in demand for health care workers, it is projected, that by 2020, the nursing shortage will be estimated at about 400,000 (Buerhaus, Starger & Auerbach, 2009).

Project statement.

This study intends to investigate the allegations that the nursing staff at life home care agency are not adequately using pain assessment in the care of elder patient cared for by the organization. This will be facilitated by the creation of a feedback tool. This intervention is projected to stabilize the nursing sector within the first five years of its inception. This solution has six recommendations that need to be considered.

First, the agency’s management needs to promote focused educational financing of foreign educated nursing staff residing in America. Secondly, encourage baccalaureate education for admission into various nursing practice across the United States. Thirdly, conduct a harmonization exercise of all nursing curricula in the United States. Fourthly is to include global health as a subject within the graduate and undergraduate nursing curricula. Fifth, the agency’s management should come up with a national system that evaluates and tracks the influx of foreign nurses, place of origin, work environment, level of education to facilitate efficient mix of skills. Finally, a national body should be created to coordinate and make recommendations for national and international nursing policies (Nichols, Davis & Richardson, 2011).


A response to the national shortage of nursing staff is to add the number of competent nurses undergoing training. Increasing the number of health care workforce is a national agenda. Nursing education and constant professional on the job training are critical elements when dealing with the nursing workforce shortages for the current and future provision of nursing care. Baccalaureate programs are increasing in the United States. These represent a focused, frequently mandated, policy outline, irrespective of the complex past that has shaped the baccalaureate education in America. Despite the controversy surrounding the entry of baccalaureate education into the American nursing program, the current complexities and advanced in technology employed in nursing necessitates that the entry criteria into the American nursing program should be upgraded (Buerhaus, Starger & Auerbach, 2009; Nichols, Davis & Richardson, 2011). Strategic nursing partnerships should be formed to share skills, knowledge and information about approved practices across all the states and regions. Incorporating global health into the nursing curricula will prepare nurses to work in a global environment. A database that collects, tracks and evaluates information about nurses should be established and would be important in developing health care policies. Globalization has resulted into a huge market for nursing professionals. This necessitates that clear guidelines and frameworks should be established to compare and evaluate the qualifications of applicants into the nursing profession against the established global standards. Since mobility is a critical element of globalization, the United States should collaborate with the International Council of Nurses (ICN) as they pursue this objective (ICN, 2008).

The feedback instrument goes beyond traditional patient categorization systems, which are formulated only to address a particular unit, hence do not support cross unit comparisons. As a consequence the feedback instrument has a huge potential to develop nursing administration, policy development and implementation. The department of health can use of this tool to track general patterns and trends in the nursing staff data. The study will fill critical gaps in knowledge about the quality of nursing and consequent health outcomes. This will be highly evident when the findings are linked to patient outcomes through the national nursing data base (Hakesley-Brown, 2009).

The nursing sector is governed by several accreditation and registration bodies across different states. To enhance uniformity, all the state accreditations and registration bodies will be encompassed under the national or federal governing body that will ensure the nursing curricula is aligned across all the states. The currently constituted curricula and nursing practice are formulated and monitored by various governing bodies. The national body will provide a benchmark through which qualifications and certification can be dispensed.

Almost all specialized professions are governed by specific national regulatory bodies. The nursing industry is governed by several governing bodies which have different guidelines and spread across different states and regions. By bringing all these governing bodies under one roof, it will ensure uniform distribution of nurses across all states and uniform qualification and training standards in the nursing practice.


Various factors have emasculated the desirability of nursing as a profession and should be eliminated. The work environment can be improved by reformulating work procedures, effective staffing and planning, use of information and advanced technology, most significantly, develop work cultures that encourage empowerment, add value, and reward exemplary performance.


Buerhaus, P., Starger, D, & D. Auerbach. 2009. The future of the nursing workforce in the United States: Data, trends and implications: Boston: Jones and Bartlett.

Hakesley-Brown, R. 2009. Ease on down the road: Exploring pathways to excellence in clinical education. Paper presented at the 2009 National League for Nursing Summit, Philadelphia, PA.

ICN. 2008. An aging nursing workforce. Retrieved on 29/10/2012 from

Nichols, B. L., Davis, C. R. & Richardson, D.R., (2011). International Models of Nursing: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Institute of Medicine 565-642. Retrieved on 29/10/2012 from

WHO (World Health Organization). 2006. World health report 2006: Working together for health: Geneva, Switzerland: Author.

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