Analysis of a National Healthcare Issue

As was mentioned in the discussion assignment review, there is a wide variety of subject matter from which to select and an extensive array of problems within the healthcare realm. Each clinician within their profession has their viewpoint regarding which of these stressors immediately need changing. From my standpoint, there is a significant challenge with the nursing shortage, which is deteriorating by reducing the number of nursing faculty members and the number of available spaces in nursing programs (Perkins, 2021). That is one of the problems, but several other factors add to the issue. The nursing shortage is one of the substantial stressors that affect my job and the overall morale of the nursing staff within the organization. This staffing issue has been an issue for a considerable amount of time, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly after the COVID outbreak, the staffing problem escalated from bad to worse. Many professionals, including myself, are now dealing with the nursing shortage, and this discussion will examine its implications.

Predictions assume that the nursing profession will maintain its position as one of the top professions in terms of overall employment growth within the next ten years (Perkins, 2021). The number of registered nurses working in the United States will predictably grow by 7 percent between 2019 and 2029, resulting in an additional 221,900 nurses working in the field (Perkins, 2021). There has been an annual departure from the nursing labor market of around 60,000 registered nurses during the last nine years (Perkins, 2021). Over one million registered nurses will be eligible for retirement in the United States during the next ten to fifteen years (Perkins, 2021). Nurses are in low supply for a variety of reasons. Poor working conditions, a rise in patients, increased rates of violence within the healthcare system, nurses retiring, difficulty retaining newly graduated nurses, a lack of seats in nursing programs, and a shortage of nursing instructors are sources (Perkins, 2021).

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The COVID-19 epidemic has had a devastating effect on patients, families, healthcare professionals, and healthcare organizations (Buerhaus, 2021). As the highly infectious Delta strain spread and the number of patients admitted to hospitals rose, more and more emphasis was placed on the nursing shortage (Buerhaus, 2021). Despite the decline in the number of nurses available for work, the ratio of nurses to patients has increased since the epidemic’s beginning (Perkins, 2021). In addition, as a result of the nursing crisis, demand for and use of travel nurses increased. The current workplace stress makes nurses more likely to be unhappy with the current work conditions, quit, and leave the nursing profession altogether (Perkins, 2021). So, the predictions posted earlier about nursing maintaining growth, will this still be accurate in months, years from now?

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