Nursing is one of the most indispensable physical and emotional, demanding jobs. However, the work force has been aging, and there is a critical shortage of health care professionals in this field. Nurses are scarce in many parts of the nation, especially in rural areas and socioeconomic sections, despite the emanated efforts to recruit them with immense package deals of benefits and initiatives (Quan 7). Adequate nurse staffing is seen as an essential facet in explaining and decoding variations, in hospital mortality, and in addition to this, technology has provided efficient benefits to nursing care. However, according to Savage and Ford, most of the health facilities in Texas, have been experiencing inadequate staffing, which has provided a discontinuity that reduces the likelihood of patients’ safety and overall hospital quality to be maintained at passable levels (150).
In tandem to this, Savage and Ford (150), still affirm that Texas has few registered nurses (RNs), who total to a range of 624.5 RNs per 100000 populations, which is comparatively lower, than the national rate which stands at 825 RNs per 100000 populations. In the year, 2000, it had reached a critical level, and this was depicted through high rates of RN vacancy, and the diversion of ambulances from hospital to hospital, ascribed to few nurses in the emergency rooms (Savage and Ford 150). Similarly, Texas team (4) asserts that, in 2010, the demand for full time RNs exceeded supply by 9700, and the gap was expected to let out to 25 000, by 2020, if there is no increase in funding for the nursing education. In light with this, demand for Nurses is likely to increase in Texas, and this can amount to lower levels of patient care in hospitals.
The shortage of nurses in Texas can be accrued to a plethora of facets, and these may include; an aging nurse workforce, which comprises of nurses between the age of 41 and 60, or nurses with an average age of over 46 years (King, Kishi and Gunn 2). The aging workforce is associated with a vast number of problems, which may amount to low or pathetic provision of the health services, thence, jeopardizing of the functioning of the healthcare system. In light to this, the aged nurse also face retirement period, which in turn creates the shortage. Nevertheless, the aging working force, is decidedly crucial since, they are effective, and their skills, knowledge, and experience serve in mentoring the younger work force (Gantz 9). Another factor is the lack of well organized faculties. This encompasses the lack of competitive, and a well budgeted faculty positions and shortage of certified faculty (King, Kishi and Gunn 2). The shortage of certified faculty is largely attributed to the aging staff, which in 5-15 years time, 70 percent of the Texas faculty are expected to retire. This results to a decrease in stipulated personnel to teach the surplus of qualified applicants in nursing (King, Kishi and Gunn 2).
In line with this, nurses are also complaining about the increase in the intricacy of paper work in the operational system of hospitals, and King, Kishi and Gunn attest that the throngs of actions by the regulatory committee, reimbursement industry and other health organization bodies have facilitated the increase (2). Besides, the nurses tend to concentrate more on the paper work than the patients, thus displeasing and disorienting nurses with the positive motive of building interactions with patients. Consequently, this may contribute to nurses desolating the direct care positions, or even quitting their jobs (King, Kishi and Gunn 2). Moreover, lack of decent salaries, both for nurses and the faculty, also creates the shortage of nurses (King, Kishi and Gunn 2). Further, the low salaries and poor benefits have resulted in lack of incentives for potential students or citizens to pursue the career, and most of the qualified personnel tend to look for other jobs, which pay sufficiently (Quan 7).
Conventionally, a number of factors and ideas have been put forth to address and correct the issue of shortage of nurses in Texas. According to Texas team, multiple strategies have been employed via miscellanea of partnerships and legislative prospects, to meet the demand (4). In conjunction to this, increasing the capacity of nursing programs has also been on the fore front, technically achieved through the acquisition of funds to recruit and retain certified faculty, as well as students, and through the development of more clinical instruction sites (Texas team 4). In addition to this, establishing of education modalities, for instance stimulation centers, and nurturing of reliable public –private partnerships, are among the key factors that can aid in reduction of shortage of nurses (Texas team 4). Other scintillating strategies taken into consideration, purposefully for the reduction of nurses’ shortage constitute a promotion of best practices in comparison to rate of graduation, so as to know the number of practitioners to be employed (Texas team 8). Support of curriculum models is also remarkably essential as it allows regional sharing of resources, and job description. Further, seeking support from Texas US Congressional delegation is also fundamental, as it allows pumping in of additional funds for nursing work force, both for faculty and nurses (Texas team 14).
Concisely, the shortage of nurses’ result to inauspicious impacts that tend to distort the processes of healthcare, and for effective continuity, which increases the likely hood of patients’ safety and welfare, and overall hospital quality, through passable levels of healthcare, more nurses are to be employed. This achievable through the addressing of the problems affecting the nursing work force, then, implementation of the proposed strategies, for effective nursing work force.
Gantz, Rollins, Nancy. 101 Global Leadership Lessons for Nurses: Shared Legacies from Leaders and their Mentors. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International, 2010. Print.
King, Brian, Kishi, Aileen and Gunn, Bruce. Highlights: The Supply of Registered Nurses in Texas-2005. November, 2006. Web 9 Nov. 2011.
Patient Safety in Health Care Management. Volume 7. Eds. Savage, T. Grant and Ford, W. Eric. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2008. Print.
Quan, Kathy. The Everything Guide to Careers in Health Care: Find the Job That’s Right For You. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2007. Print.
Texas Team. “A Strategic Plan for the State of Texas to Meet Nursing Workforce Needs of 2013.”Texas Nursing: Our Future Depends on it. (2009): 1-19. Print.