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Strategic Planning: Nursing Shortage


Since the profession’s emergence in the medical field, the notion of nursing has been one of the most challenging aspects for both management and job description outline. According to the researchers, today’s medical paradigm generally struggles to provide nurses with the workforce fundamentals required for beneficial health care (Anupama, 2018). As a result, the rates of nursing retention tend to drop significantly due to the providers’ inability to ensure nurses’ professional growth and positive environment. Hence, the primary goal of the present planning is to provide a strategic plan for addressing the issue of nursing shortage in the health care organization from the perspective of a nursing executive. The crucial points of the plan include the SWOT analysis of the organization and the conclusions drawn from the interview with a health care leader.

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Strategic Plan

In order to create a working strategy, it is of paramount importance to outline some of the major strengths and weaknesses of the organization discussed. Hence, the organization’s characteristics may be represented in the form of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis:

Table 1: Health care organization’s SWOT analysis

Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
  • Technological advancements
  • Staff expertise
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Staff management issues
  • Poor interpersonal communication within the staff
  • Limited resources
  • Lack of indoor training system and education
  • Engaging in education grant programs
  • Training nurses in terms of public health promotion
  • Creating a positive working environment
  • Promoting mentorship and communication between physicians and nurses
  • Lower retention rates
  • Poor patient outcomes due to lack of proper cooperation
  • Reputation in the area
  • Relatively low competition in the area
  • State of public health in the area
  • Lack of public support in terms of finance
  • Poor health promotion strategies
  • Finding sponsorship to promote education
  • Attract local professional organizations and unions to the issue of health care management and sustainability
  • Cutting financial support
  • Limiting the access to health care automatization

Taking into consideration the positions outlined in Table 1, it is now necessary to define the points that closely relate to the primary issue of the nursing shortage. To gain a better perspective of the state of affairs, the local health care leader was interviewed on the matter of poor retention rates, which is described in detail in Appendix A. It was identified throughout the conversation that the principal barriers in the way towards successful nursing practice within the organization included:

  • poor communication and implicit biases in terms of interprofessional cooperation;
  • low rates of nurses’ engagement in the medical intervention;
  • lack of investment in nursing education.

Having analyzed both the analysis and interview outcomes, the two priorities were chosen for the strategy, including the promotion of respectful communication between professionals and identification of the resources to promote nursing education. The issue of poor nurse-physician communication is now considered detrimental not only for the nursing shortage rates but for the overall health care efficacy. According to the researchers, the patterns of such professional cooperation usually encompass the process of exchanging information crucial for the patient outcome and the process of interpersonal communication relevant to the relationship between staff members (Tan et al., 2017). Hence, if the first aspect of communication is often addressed in the organization’s professional ethics code, another part is considered to be a personal matter. As a result, nurses tend to feel either underestimated in the treatment context or implicitly discriminated against by physicians. For this reason, the first point of the strategic plan to address the shortage rates would be to ensure the promotion of respectful nurse-physician cooperation through a reconsideration of the organization’s ethical fundamentals.

Another priority would be to find both financial and public support in order to launch innovative training systems for the nurses. According to the studies, the issue of poor nursing training and education lead has become relatively common and replete with negative consequences for the facility, as nurses feel a lack of support and encouragement in the clinical setting (Fiset et al., 2017). Hence, when encouraged and motivated by the administration, nurses would feel more willing to improve their skills in order to stay at the workplace interested in growth and human capital investment. To secure the strategy’s success, it is imperative to find public organizations and state initiatives ready to invest in the idea of life-long learning. The following strategy would also resonate with the ideas of person-centered framework by McCormack (2020), nursing education contributes to prerequisites required to secure patient-oriented health care. Paying attention to the education allows nurses to gain valuable knowledge in the context of public health leadership and advocacy.

When speaking of such external stakeholders as public initiatives, it is also necessary to outline the roles in the team working on the strategy. Hence, the following team members are considered crucial for the strategy’s success:

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  • nursing executive;
  • chief medical officer;
  • health facility administrator;
  • human resource manager;
  • public relations manager.


Considering the analysis and primary barriers in terms of providing nurses with satisfactory working conditions, it may be concluded that the strategic plan to resolve the issue should concern the issues of communication and training. Thus, the administration team is to play the most important role in the process of value reconsideration. The overall strategy would then encompass the introduction of new ethical patterns of interpersonal communication with physicians in order for the nurses to acknowledge the scope of their health care contribution. Moreover, the strategic focus should also be placed on the education platforms’ enhancement. In such a way, there would be a chance of decreasing the organization’s risk of the nursing shortage.


Anupama, K. (2018). Workforce challenges in nursing. International Journal of Nursing Science Practice and Research, 4(1), 125-128. Web.

Fiset, V. J., Graham, I. D., & Davies, B. L. (2017). Evidence-based practice in clinical nursing education: A scoping review. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(9), 534-541. Web.

McCormack, B. (2020). The person-centred nursing and person-centred practice frameworks: From conceptual development to programmatic impact. Nursing Standard, 35(10), 86-89. Web.

Tan, T. C., Zhou, H., & Kelly, M. (2017). Nurse–physician communication: An integrated review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(23-24), 3974-3989. Web.

Appendix A

The present Appendix contains the transcript of the interview conducted for the research. The interviewer (I) is the nursing executive, and the respondent (R) is the health care leader currently working on the team.

I: How would you describe the relevance of nursing shortage in the context of your workplace?

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R: At first sight, the notion of shortage feels rather distant from the realities of our facility, as there are enough nursing candidates to fill the relevant vacancies. However, there is another issue that disrupts the workflow patterns – nurses’ low retention rate. What is meant is that nurses who come to work for the organization tend to quit the position during the first year of work, creating a high rate of human resource rotation. If ignored, the following tendency would eventually lead to the human capital shortage.

I: What effective strategies do you consider in order to address this issue?

R: Well, it is obvious that our main mission as facility administrators is to ensure a satisfactory working environment. As we see it, there is a demand for ensuring a proper emotive environment for the nurses while increasing their engagement in the organizational workflow.

I: How would you assess these strategies?

R: When employed carefully, the strategy of nurses’ integration in the team is extremely efficient. Yet, there are major issues in terms of its implementation because physicians tend to have preconceived feelings towards nurses when it comes to their expertise level and ability to coordinate. As a result, nurses feel left out even when participating directly in the treatment process and health care advocacy. One of the reasons for this is the organization’s financial inability to secure education and training for nurses. If we had access to this resource, physicians would become aware that nurses had a sufficient level of education in order to pool their efforts with them.

I: What, in your opinion, are some other principal barriers in the way of resolving the nursing shortage issue?

R: Well, besides education and communicative barriers, I would add the notions of the negative work environment and inability to increase employee engagement.

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