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Nursing Shortage and Nurse Turnover


Nursing shortage and nurse turnover are one of the major issues in this carrier field. Due to the fact that the generation of Baby Boomers is gradually aging, human society is expected to have an abnormally large number of elderly people in need of medical services in several years. According to ANA (American Nurses Association), at least one million of new nurses will be required by 2022 to replace the retiring workers and to occupy the newly created workplaces (Brown 2014).

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The shortage is predicted to become especially noticeable between 2009 and 2030 (Rosseter 2014). Today, the profession of a registered nurse is one of the most advertised occupations in the United States. At the same time, high nursing shortage and nurse turnover in the medical facilities is still observed all around the country. This paper is focused on the ways of prevention of nursing shortage and nurse turnover by nursing managers and leaders practicing various styles.

Nursing Leaders Practices

The power coming from a leader in the field of nursing may be unofficial and informal. At the same time, manager is a person who was officially assigned in charge of others. A nursing leader has the capacity to empower and inspire their peers, influencing the surroundings and creating higher job satisfaction. A nursing manager is in charge not only of employees, but also of resources, they have the power to approach the problems practically and financially.

In order to be successful at addressing nursing shortage and nurse turnover in the contemporary hospitals both leader and managers need to research the issue and find out its causes. For this they need at ask a question, “what is it that makes nurses unhappy with their workplaces?”. Addressing the needs of nurses, leaders and managers can prevent the employed nurses from leaving their jobs and creating turnover, and also they can attract new employees to occupy the vacant workplaces and reduce the nursing shortage.

Some of the most popular reasons why nurses are dissatisfied with their jobs are low salaries, very busy and inflexible schedules and long shifts, exhausting and stressful occupations due to the enormous amount of work, insecurity at the workplace, need for authority. Nurses in the United States often go on strikes, refusing to work demanding more rights or bigger payments.

Sociologists and psychologists are aware that people on strike are always the most depowered individuals. Basically, what leaders and managers have to do to address nursing shortage and nurse turnover is to empower the nurses at their hospitals, creating, this way, more attractive surroundings for the new employees.

A nursing leader is to empower their peers. To address employee shortage for the future a leader may enforce a policy of collaboration with nursing schools and encourage the young graduates to obtain jobs at a certain medical facility. A leader also may develop a practice of sending nurses to the local high schools to provide information about the profession of a nurse and to promote the profession attracting more young people to join this career field (Upenieks 2003).

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Besides, it is better for the leaders to attract new workers, while the older ones are still employed. This way more experienced employees would be able to teach and train the newcomers and help them adjust to the new workplace and quickly develop all the necessary professional skills. A transactional leader would address the job dissatisfaction among nurses through the financial benefits, for example enforce a system of bonuses for the employees that work longer hours and stay over-time.

Such system would make the employees feel more appreciated for their effort. According to the theory of transformational leadership, a successful leader may apply their power to fulfill the employees’ higher needs, which include their self-esteem, professional recognition, and expressing their full potential.

Such leader could apply their power to provide better authority for their peers through participating in regular staff meetings where nurses could share suggestions about the structure of their work, their needs, desires and aspirations in the careers field and where they could also receive the most recent news of the career field, be informed about the latest innovations and practices.

Finally, a transformational leader may encourage nurses to join professional conferences and gatherings, which would improve their professionalism and provide them with access to more expert knowledge.


As for the nursing managers, they are in power to provide resources both financial and human. A good manager is aware that one of the main causes of job dissatisfaction in the field of nursing is low salaries. Maximizing payments for the employees would significantly impact their desire to keep their workplace (Where Do All the Nurse Go?: Mid Twentieth Century Nurse Shortages, Causes, Solutions, and Continuing Problems 2010).

Besides, a manager may start a practice of bonuses assigned based on the longevity of employment, this will motivate the employees to stay at their workplaces for years as loyalty will be rewarded. One more important change a manger can provide is making schedules more flexible and creating some space for alternatives in the work of nurses, this would remove some of the pressure of the long hours they have to work for.

It is also important to have the duties spread evenly, so people do not get overloaded with work, for this a manager needs to assign more nurses per shift so they could share the tasks and help each other without overworking and getting physically and emotionally exhausted. All of these practices belong to the transactional kind of leadership as they are mostly based on practical approach. A manager that forks through transformational techniques would be oriented at giving the employees what they need emotionally and mentally.

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Under a transformational management the nurses could get an opportunity to report the recourses they lack and be sure that the superiors would take these reports into consideration when ordering supplies for the institutions. This practice would provide the feeling of control and sufficiency for the nursing professionals. A leader should also arrange residency programs in the institution – these would definitely provide the workplace with more human resources.

In my opinion, both transformational and transactional leadership styles are highly effective, yet, I think that financial motivation is a more common factor that motivates employees to keep their jobs or eek for job opportunities at more well-paid specialties. This is why I would emphasize the system of overtime bonuses and longevity of employment benefits for the nurses.

Besides, I think it is important to create comfortable working conditions for the employees; this is why it is crucial to have enough people to share all the duties and prevent the nurses from working extremely long shifts that make them grow to hate their jobs. To my mind, these are the main priorities for creation an attractive medical workplace and addressing nursing shortage and nurse turnover.

Reference List

Brown, T. (2014). Surge of Investment Needed to Prevent Nursing ShortageWeb.

Rosseter, R. (2014). Nursing Shortage. Web.

Upenieks, V. (2003). Recruitment and Retention Strategies: A Magnet Hospital Prevention Model. Web.

Where Do All the Nurse Go?: Mid Twentieth Century Nurse Shortages, Causes, Solutions, and Continuing Problems. (2010). Upenn. Web.

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