One of the primary health care staff trends relates to the high need for registered nurses. The need for advanced practice nurses licensed vocational and licensed practical nurses is increased due to the fact that the generation of the Baby Boomers is growing up thus directly affecting the need for more health care services. This, in turn, poses a challenge to the nursing schools that fail to broaden their capacity in order to match the increased demand for nursing education.
However, it is important to first mention what causes the shortage of registered nurses and thus the increased demand for them. While the generation of Baby Boomers is growing up, other layers of population grow old, the coverage of healthcare increases, the disposable income rises, and the models of health care delivery change. Furthermore, inconsistent wages caused many skilled registered nurses to leave their positions to look for better job opportunities (Carnevale, Smith, & Gulish, 2015, p. 7).
Therefore, human resources are challenged not only with attracting registered nurses to the profession but also retain them in their position to avoid sudden shortages in the workforce. Addressing issues related to nurses’ dissatisfaction in the workplace is the primary step towards nurses retention while the provision of appropriate working conditions for nurses-to-be is beneficial for attracting more professionals. According to the article written by Van den Heede et al. (2013), investments in improved and modified working environments is one of the key methods for nurses retention and attraction of new professionals to the field (p. 192).
The second trend related to health care staff is connected with hiring professionals not only for their skills and knowledge but also for the personal qualities and ability to communicate with patients. This has become a trend due to increased attention to patient satisfaction. According to the article by Al-Abri and Al-Balushi (2013), over the past two decades, there has been a rise in the use of patient satisfaction surveys that assessed the quality of the medical care patients received, including the interactions they had with the staff (p. 3).
Thus, the patient satisfaction indicator is highly valued since it often separates good health care services from the bad. In addition, patients are biased. For instance, if a medical professional had performed a successful surgery but later had a disagreement with the patient, this could reflect in the patient satisfaction survey as a negative point. Hiring professionals with good communication skills is not as easy as it seems since the medical industry is targeted at treating patients and saving their lives rather than providing good ‘customer service’. This trend can also correlate with the shortages in the number of registered nurses since the hiring process has become too complex and multi-dimensional.
Human resource management in health care is of high importance when it comes to organizational outcomes (Vermeeren et al., 2014, p. 7). The high need for hiring more registered nurses and their retention is best addressed through appraisal since it is commonly used by establishments to achieve a corporate goal (Rusli & Bujang, 2013, p. 1). The second HRM strategy relates to workforce planning in order to address the lack of registered nurses and distribute their workforce to areas where it is needed the most. Lastly, training and development will address both trends since it will offer medical professionals an opportunity to grow as well as learn the basic patients satisfaction factors that affect their practice the most.
Al-Abri, R., & Al-Balushi, A. (2014). Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality improvement. Oman Medical Journal, 29(1), 3-7.
Carnevale, A., Smith, N., & Gulish, A. (2015). Nursing Supply and demand through 2020. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University.
Rusli, A., & Bujan, S. (2013). Issues and challenges in the practice of performance appraisal activities in the 21st century. International Journal of Education and Research, 1(4), 1-8.
Van de Heede, K., Florquin, M., Bruyneel, L., Aiken, L., Diya, L., Lesaffre, E., & Sermeus, W. (2013). Effective strategies for nurse retention in acute hospitals: A mixed-method study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50, 185-194.
Vermeeren, B., Steijn, B., Tummers, L., Lankjaar, M., Poerstamper, R-J., & van Beek, S. (2014). HRM and its effect on employee, organizational and financial outcomes in health care organizations. Human Resources for Health, 12(35), 1-9.