Nursing Shortage and Education Quality

Summary of the Problem

The percentage of patients receiving quality medical services is quite small. This situation is attributable to the current issue of nursing shortage. MacPhee, Dahinten, & Havaei (2017) indicate that nursing shortage is a major concern making it impossible for many populations to receive desirable medical support.

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The problem has affected the United States’ healthcare sector for the last three decades. Statistical evidence presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates clearly that the country will record over 1 million nursing vacancies by the year 2022 (Abhicharttibutra, Kunaviktikul, Turale, Wichaikhum, & Srisuphan, 2016). The problem is expected to worsen by 2024.

By the year 2025, the number of elderly persons will have increased as more baby boomers continue to age. Shasanmi, Kim, and Cassiani (2015) observed that over 88 million persons will have aged by 2050. Over 700,000 nurses are expected to retire by 2020 (MacPhee, 2017). The number of nurses joining this profession is also low. Many nurses have been focusing on new opportunities or careers since medical practice appears to have become less lucrative (Darvish, Bahramnezhad, Keyhanian, & Navidhamidi, 2014). Statistics go further to indicate that the predicament of nursing shortage will affect different healthcare delivery processes. The quality of services will be affected and make it impossible for more people to lead quality lives.

Methodology for Searching the Evidence

A powerful methodology was considered in order to collect adequate information. A total of ten articles from peer reviewed journals were identified and selected for the study. The selection process was rigorous in an attempt to ensure the articles were published within the past five years (Shasanmi et al., 2015). Another consideration was to ensure the articles presented meaningful insights and ideas regarding the implications of nursing shortage on patient care and service delivery.

Specific key words such as nurse shortage, patient safety, patient care, health promotion, and health care delivery were used to select the most appropriate articles for the research (Edge, 2017). This approach made it easier for the researcher to identify quality articles to support the study process.

Existing Knowledge

Several articles were identified in order to understand the nature of nursing shortage as a major issue affecting the healthcare sector. The gathered information has indicated clearly that many researchers and scholars clearly understand that nursing shortage is a critical concern affecting the healthcare sector. Shasanmi et al. (2015) indicate that many health care institutions do not have enough practitioners.

The hiring process has encountered a wide range of challenges since many people do not apply for nursing jobs (Abhicharttibutra et al., 2016). Some institutions have indicated that more nurses and caregivers have been quitting their jobs. The occurrence of this predicament has led to numerous concerns in different healthcare settings. For instance, Aboshaiqah (2016) indicates clearly that the level of patient safety has decreased due to the nature of this issue.

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Valizadeh, Hasankhani, and Shojaeimotlagh (2016) go further to indicate that the measures undertaken to address the situation have not delivered meaningful results. Some of the practices employed include the use of nurse aids, extension of retirement age, technological support (informatics), and encouragement of more people to take up different healthcare roles (Ball, Doyle, & Oocumma, 2015). Nardi and Gyurko (2013) also support the use of similar initiatives to address the current problem of nursing shortage. MacPhee et al. (2017) acknowledge that nursing shortage catalyzes different challenges such as medication errors, falls, and prolonged hospitalization. Failure to deal with this problem will affect the health outcomes of more underserved populations.

Analysis and Synthesis

Author(s) of Article Comparing and Contrasting the Articles
(Abhicharttibutra et al., 2016) Most of the policies developed to deal with the issues affecting the healthcare sector have not focused on the needs of different professionals. The authors managed to examine the importance of involving different stakeholders throughout the policymaking process (Abhicharttibutra et al., 2016). The approach can ensure practitioners present appropriate insights to improve nursing education and ensure the needs of more patients are met.
(Aboshaiqah, 2016) Similar views and solutions to the issue of nursing shortage are presented in this article. The author explains how Saudi Arabia can attract more people to join the workforce. This entails the use of educational programs targeting members of the public. Social media will empower more nurses to work as teams (Aboshaiqah, 2016). These approaches will minimize the implications of nursing shortage.
(Ball et al., 2015) This article indicates clearly that new teaching practices and programs can prepare nursing students to undertake numerous roles in the healthcare sector. This knowledge should guide curriculum developers to focus on the best approaches to empower more learners (Ball et al., 2015).
(Darvish et al., 2014) Nursing informatics can be implemented to address the gap associated with nursing shortage (Darvish et al., 2014). Meaningful use can empower nurses to offer quality, timely, and evidence-based care. Educational programs should be redesigned to include nursing informatics.
(Edge, 2017) Since nursing shortage continues to affect many healthcare units, caregivers can be encouraged to embrace new approaches to tackle the problem (Edge, 2017). Nursing students can use social media networks to exchange ideas and implement them in healthcare practice. Strained working environments can benefit significantly from this new practice.
(MacPhee et al., 2017) Heavy workloads result in interruptions, medication errors, and falls. The nurses also suffer from exhaustion, dissatisfaction, and reduced morale (MacPhee et al., 2017). The authors indicate clearly that the issue of nursing shortage affects the outcomes of both caregivers and patients. Collaboration in different units can reduce some of these challenges.
(Mee, 2014) One of the reasons why nursing shortage has become a grand problem in healthcare is because of the current learning processes used to prepare caregivers (Mee, 2014). With the use of modern technologies, more students can be targeted using distance education. The learners will acquire nursing skills to transform the sector.
(Nardi & Gyurko, 2013) The authors indicate that global migration, lack of adequate support, and poor salaries have catalyzed the problem of nursing shortage. New education models focusing on the global health environment can minimize the impacts of this predicament (Nardi & Gyurko, 2013). The practice will ensure the skills of nurses are expanded to meet the health needs of more patients.
(Shasanmi et al., 2015) Several countries have managed to implement powerful strategies to deal with this problem (Shasanmi et al., 2015). Promotion of appropriate practices, collaboration, and leadership are useful towards improving the quality of services available to different patients.
(Valizadeh et al., 2016) Nurses have been quitting their jobs due to various issues such as political unrest, social problems, discrimination, and job dissatisfaction. These factors have made it impossible for many healthcare institutions to offer quality services to their patients (Valizadeh et al., 2016). When such issues are addressed, more nurses will not be willing to leave their positions.

Inferences and Conclusions

Abhicharttibutra et al. (2016) explore how different policies have failed to examine the issues associated with nursing shortage. The healthcare sector will continue to encounter numerous challenges due to the current challenge of nursing shortage. These studies therefore show conclusively that this problem affects the quality of services available to more patients in the country.

The selected articles show conclusively that nursing shortage is a critical challenge that makes it impossible for many patients to receive quality care. The problem is associated with numerous issues such as prolonged stay in hospitals, medication errors, and interruptions throughout the healthcare delivery process. Many scholars believe that nursing shortage is a unique problem that makes it impossible for medical practitioners to deliver quality services (Darvish et al., 2014).

This happens to be the case because the affected nurses find it hard to work as teams. The workers are forced to offer health services for longer hours. This malpractice has resulted in burnout, job dissatisfaction, medication errors, and ineffectiveness.

Numerous proposals have been presented in an attempt to tackle the problem and ensure more patients receive exemplary services. The first one entails the use of leadership to ensure the current workforce is empowered to support different patients (Valizadeh et al., 2016). Improvements in curriculum development and promotion of distance learning will definitely make it possible for more people to appreciate the profession. Provision of resources, meaningful use, and social media will empower nurses to offer better services.


Abhicharttibutra, K., Kunaviktikul, W., Turale, S., Wichaikhum, O., & Srisuphan, W. (2016). Analysis of a government policy to address nursing shortage and nursing education quality. International Nursing Review, 1(1), 1-11. Web.

Aboshaiqah, A. (2016). Strategies to address the nursing shortage in Saudi Arabia. International Nursing Review, 63(3), 499-506. Web.

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Ball, K., Doyle, D., & Oocumma, N. (2015). Nursing shortages in the OR: Solutions for new models of education. AORN, 101(1), 115-136. Web.

Darvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2014). The role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. Global Journal of Health Science, 6(6), 11-18. Web.

Edge, W. (2017). Nursing professionalism: Impact of social media use among nursing students. Journal of Healthcare Communications, 2(3), 1-3. Web.

MacPhee, M., Dahinten, S., & Havaei, F. (2017). The impact of heavy perceived nurse workloads on patient and nurse outcomes. Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 1-17. Web.

Mee, S. (2014). Is distance education the answer to the nursing shortage? Open Journal of Nursing, 4(1), 158-162. Web.

Nardi, D., & Gyurko, C. (2013). The global nursing faculty shortage: Status and solutions for change. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 317-326. Web.

Shasanmi, R., Kim, E., & Cassiani, S. (2015). National nursing strategies in seven countries of the Region of the Americas: Issues and impact. Pan American Journal of Public Health, 38(1), 64-72. Web.

Valizadeh, S., Hasankhani, H., & Shojaeimotlagh, V. (2016). Nurses’ immigration: Causes and problems. International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences, 5(9), 486-491. Web.

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