Factors contributing to Nurse Shortage and Nursing Turnover
The insufficient number of faculties, classroom spaces, sites for clinical practice, budget constraints, and clinical preceptors are the main contributing factors that have a put a bottleneck on the number of baccalaureate applicants to nursing schools (American Association of Colleges and Nursing 2014).
Data retrieved from a survey by the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses conducted by the federal Division of Nursing indicated that that the current average RN population stands at 47 years of age (American Association of Colleges and Nursing 2014). This comprehension is a direct contributor to the increasing nursing shortage.
The fact that the numbers of aging baby boomers generation is increasing necessitates the need for more nurses to take care of this part of the population that is ever increasing leading to nurse shortages (American Association of Colleges and Nursing 2014).
Job dissatisfaction brought about by emotional exhaustion whereby RNs are assigned more workload than they can comfortably handle has led to increased stress levels and high turnovers (American Association of Colleges and Nursing 2014).
Addressing Nurse Shortage and Nursing turnover
The functions of management are the key tenets in addressing the problem as discussed below;
Roles of a Nurse Manager versus Leader
Nurse Managers should use this management concept as a tool for planning activities which aim at enhancing the existing practitioners’ knowledge to cover the gap left by few nursing schools where nurses are supposed to advance their knowledge. This will provide space for high school graduates who want to pursue nursing. As such, managers ought to plan training within a care facility to educate nurses on the current issues (Roberts, 2016). Additionally, nurse managers will be required to involve the RNs in the planning activities to get their views concerning the proposed plans thereby upholding the spirit of teamwork (Malone et al., 2015). On the other hand, nurse leaders need to plan for activities and motivation talks which are aimed at encouraging high school students to join nursing colleges. Additionally, nurse leaders should encourage nurses to attend these training (Malone et al., 2015). Nurse leaders will be in a good position to look out on the staff needs in their facilities and how to appropriately plan for them with the management. Leadership plays the role of ensuring that resources are effectively
Nurse Managers are also tasked with accumulating physical, financial and human resources in order to develop a good working relationship amongst the nurses in the facilities. Such efforts are directed at a comprehensive achievement of the goals of the organization (Roberts, 2016). As such, there is the need to identify and classify the activities that are supposed to be performed in the healthcare setting. This organization will be instrumental in reducing cases of burnout due to exhaustion (Mills, 2015). The identification and classification of activities is supposed to be an all inclusive process. Leaders are charged with organizing discussion forums or seminars and formulating the mission, visions, objectives and strategies of a health facility that are aimed at addressing the welfare of nurses to reduce burnout and eliminate stressors in a health care setting (Mills, 2015).
Directing as a function of nurses managers and leaders is aimed at synchronizing the activities in the healthcare setting to work efficiently in order to achieve the goal of better patient care. This aspect is directed at setting in motion the workability of the RNs (Roberts, 2016). As such, motivation and unidirectional communication are supposed to form the basis for healthcare setting operations. These efforts are intended at involving the RNs in the visions of the organization thereby enhancing the spirit of teamwork and consequently improving positive outcomes from their working (Malone et al., 2015). Charismatic leadership is crucial in the directing process as it acts as a basis under which nurses can be able to do their work effectively and have someone to look up to and also trust (Malone et al., 2015)..
There is the need for nurse managers to regulate the activities that go on in health institution to be in line with the standard operational procedures of the clinics (Roberts, 2016). As such, this will be crucial in checking on the increasing number of RNs that are nearing retirement who may be a little worked up with their workstations. Additionally, retired nurses who are capable of continuing working can be re-employed to reduce the shortage (Mills, 2015). The nurses re-employed bring in valuable knowledge and skills which are critical for the running of the activities in the healthcare facility. On this note, nurse leaders should encourage the retired nurses to be role models for the new graduates and offer assistance where the new nurses find difficulties (Mills, 2015). This assistance could be in the form of advice, counseling, sharing experience and monitoring the graduates. This will be essential in controlling the shortage and turnover caused by new graduates leaving nursing since they have found the profession difficult (Mills, 2015).
Nurse leaders and managers are supposed to be emotionally intelligent, ethical, humble, authentic and empathic so as to understand the particular needs that are affecting the RNs (Hall, 2013). Such skills and principles are directed at inspiring the nurses working in a particular healthcare settings and making them appreciate the work that they are undertaking. From this kind of satisfaction, it becomes easier to have checks on any cases that might affect nurses’ welfare which contribute to events of nursing turnover and shortages.
On the other hand, there is the need to apply appropriate leadership styles that will encourage teamwork in the health care setting (Hall, 2013). My work philosophy is incorporating teamwork in the provision of comprehensive care to clients. As such, a leadership theory that is focused on the relationship between the nurse leaders and the RNs is crucial in setting a good working relationship in the healthcare setting. Such a good working relationship is vital for encouraging teamwork in the workplace (Hall, 2013). To cultivate a good working relationship and teamwork in the workplace, therefore, A Transformational kind of leadership should be adopted. This leadership theory best fits my personal and professional philosophy of nursing since it encourages cooperation of all stakeholders in making decision and carrying out mandates of a health organization.
Conclusively, it is vital that nurse managers and leaders take into consideration the fact that nurses shortage and nursing turnover is a reality and that proactive measures have to be put in place to address them. Effective leadership and managerial practices are therefore crucial to achieving this objective.
American Association of Colleges and Nursing. (2014). Nursing Shortage. Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-shortage
Hall, D. S. (2013, January). LEADERSHIP: THEORIES, STYLES AND VISIONING. In NAAAS Conference Proceedings (p. 36). National Association of African American Studies.
Malone N., Mark L., Miller K., Kekahio W., & Narayan K. (2015). Program monitoring: The role of leadership in planning, assessment, and communication. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/pdf/REL_2014034.pdf
Mills, Q. D. (2015). The Importance of Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.cafanet.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=qwswE8roe74=
Roberts, C. (2016). Five Functions of Management and Leading. Retrieved from (smallbusiness.chron.com/five-functions-management-leading-56418.html)
Rosseter, R. J. (2013). Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet - American Association Of College Of Nursing. Retrieved from (mds.marshall.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1125&context=mgmt_faculty)