1. Executive Summary
Health is important for the growth, development and prosperity of any Nation. It can be regarded as a matter of National Security and hence should be given first priority any government. Health involves a lot of aspects from any country’s economic status. With a good health population, any country’s output would be high and this would have a positive effect on the country’s economy. Health should be embraced and all the challenges facing any country’s health status should be overcome. Health involves aspects such as mortality rates, death rates, birth rates, prevalence of certain diseases amongst others (Bodenheimer 38). For this reason, the health standards of any country should put efforts in promoting the aspects which have a positive impact on the health status of the citizens. For instance, high child mortality rates have a negative impact on any country’s economic growth. For this reason, the country should invest on finding the cause of the increased child mortality rates and come with a long lasting solution that would counteract the effect of the dilemma. A nation would require high population to increase its productivity in various industrial fields. Therefore, any factors that would seem to put the county’s population at stake would have to be dealt with in the most appropriate manner. For instance if a country is experiencing an increased number in the death rates, then it would have to create an analysis of the situation and come up with a solution to the matter. The health sector of any given country is a sensitive one and hence requires highly skilled and qualified staff. This is because health centers deal with human life which is precious and delicate and hence requires utmost consideration. Medical doctors, nurses and Physicians should be keen in handling health matters and ensure that at no given time should they jeopardize their careers in ways that would put a country’s health status at stake. The healthcare industry has however had many challenges in different parts of the world. A shortage of nurses in the healthcare industry is one of the problems that have been problem not only the United States of America but the world at large. This is a challenge that the healthcare industry has to find long term solutions for.
2. Problem Statement
The shortage of nurses in many healthcare institutions has been experienced by the healthcare industry over the past decade.
This problem has been prevalent in most healthcare facilities in the United States of America. It is the obligation of the American government to come up with strategies that would enhance healthcare services and this would be by increasing the number of nurses in the facilities.
3. Literature Review
Research within the healthcare industry reveals that there have been a lot of causes for the specific problem of a shortage of nurses in the healthcare industry. These causes have been established by the World Health Organization. One of the reasons for the problem in the healthcare industry is the fact that not many students are joining colleges offering courses in nursing (Bruce 62). This is has been due to the fact that nursing is considered to be a female profession. Therefore, most male students will be less concerned with pursuing nursing as a long term profession. The female students on the other hand cannot fill the gap in the healthcare industry requiring an increase in the number of nurses. 90% of long term care healthcare institutions are suffering from a shortage of nurses to an extent of refusing to take new admissions (Barker 41). This is one of the clear indicators that the impacts of the problem are divers. Most states in the United States of America are suffering from a shortage of nurses in the many healthcare institutions.
The Nurse to Patient ratio is very large thereby creating the impression that the lives of many patients in the country is at jeopardy (Cogan 28). A reduction in the number of applicants in nursing schools is one of the major problems why the shortage has been prevalent. Another cause of the problem is the fact that the current work force in the healthcare industry is aging. Therefore, after most of the aging physicians retire, they have no one to come and fill the gaps. There is a high rate of retirees compared to the number of trained physicians in the healthcare industry. This is yet another reason why the healthcare industry is suffering from a huge shortage in nurses. In addition to the declining number of students enrolling into nursing schools, the nursing schools suffer from a shortage of nurse educators. This was revealed by the fact that 32, 756 students were rejected from pursuing nursing as a career in 2005 as a result of shortage in nurse educators. From different research studies, it can be observed that there are many reasons as to why the nursing industry has continued to experience a shortage in the number of nurses in the past decade.
Research made on women on the aspect of career choice, revealed that 30% fewer women would want to choose nursing as a career in the year 2005 than would have been the case in 1990 (Polit 41). This shows that the nursing career is losing its touch amongst women. The reason is that other careers are coming up hence bringing a clot of competition to nursing hence affecting the healthcare industry. Women are selecting careers that seem to be less demanding in relation to time and stress. The hospitality industry is one in which women are considering to work in compared to nursing. This competition is what is leading to the nursing shortage in the healthcare industry.
Many hospitals are unable to meet the healthcare needs of the patients as a result of the shortage of nurses (Bodenheimer 91). The shortage of nurses in the U.S. has resulted to congestion in the few health centers in different states. Congestion increases the chances of spreading infections especially the air borne diseases. The congestion has resulted to inefficiency in offering health care services to the general population. Congestion can be overcome by the government of the country ensuring that it provides enough education centers which will be able to train students in the nursing field who will come and fill the gap of shortage of nurses. Expanding the hospitals and the primary health care centers would also be a solution for combating congestion in these health care centers. Expansion would require the government’s full support in any way including the most crucial one: financial support (Polit 29). This would not be a problem for the Saudi Arabian government since all the Hospitals and Primary health care centers are run and operated by the government.
4. Problem analysis
Problem analysis would be an important measure for the welfare of this research. The health industry has been facing many problems but the one for a shortage in the number of nurses has been prevalent. This has been established from statistics gathered from many hospitals offering healthcare services. The problem has had an impact to the healthcare industry to an extent of almost leading to the closure of some healthcare centers. The few nurses in most healthcare facilities have not been able to meet the healthcare needs of most patients. This has led to poor healthcare services within major healthcare centers.
The shortage in the number of nurses has also rendered many health institutions incapable of meeting their objectives as far as the provision of healthcare services is concerned. Some healthcare institutions have had the goal of expanding and providing extensive healthcare services. Nurses are very important in helping the healthcare facilities accomplish such goals. This has not been possible as a result of the shortage of nurses has prevailed and worsened the situation. Instead of expanding and extending the healthcare services, some healthcare centers are closing down. The root cause of this problem is the fact the healthcare facilities are unable to provide quality healthcare services due the shortage of nurse. The shortage in the number of nurses can be seen to lead to other problems which made many healthcare centers incapable of administering healthcare services of the required standards. Solutions should be brought forth by researchers in the medical field before the situation worsens. Federal governments should also contribute to overcoming the problem. This would only be possible by coming up with strategies of increasing the number of nurses in healthcare facilities.
5. Possible Solutions
One of the main causes of this shortage is the fact that there are many option careers hence people degrade nursing as a career. The government is supposed to launch a program that will advice and encourage young people to go and study nursing as a career. This will make many people who are in a dilemma on which course to take at the university take nursing. These students will be highly determined to take this course since they will be having information on nursing as a career and its benefits. This will make them study hard since they will already be motivated hence resulting to the best nurses. They will also be in a position to encourage their juniors to study nursing at the university level. They will help to increase the number of nurses in American hospitals.
The other possible solution that the government is supposed to implement is to increase nurses’ benefits and wages. Since 1990 when there was a lot of inflation in the United States of America, nurses have been lowly paid (Barker 52). As a result, many people prefer taking other careers that have better wages hence a shortage of nurses. However, it is the government’s obligation to ensure that the nurses are well paid. This will be an encouragement to a high percentage of the American young generation to take nursing as a profession. By so doing, America will have sufficient number of nurses hence countering the problem of having a shortage of nurses in healthcare facilities.
Encouraging the male youth to pursue nursing as a profession is also one of the solutions. Most of the male students view nursing as a ladies’ profession hence prefer to pursue other courses. The government should look for a way on how to advice them and encourage them and change their viewing perspective on the issue. This will make them not to shy off or feel that they are pursuing a course that is designated for ladies. This will attract many of the male students to this nursing industry. This will ensure that there is gender equality in the society. The government will also be in a position to hit its target of increasing the number of nurses in the hospitals.
The American government can also import well trained nurses from other places worldwide. This will be of great importance to the government since it will sort the problem within a very short duration of time. This is due to the fact that the nurses will already be trained therefore no more time will be used to train them. This makes it to be very effective and efficient.
6. Solution and its Implementation
The government is supposed to target the young generation and ensure that they study nursing at their university level in large numbers. This should include both male and female students. This should be done through the government employing people to inform young male and female students on the benefits of taking this course. This will help to increase the number of the people who are pursuing this course hence leading to an increase to the number of nurses in the near future. The male youths need to be convinced that the course is not meant for the ladies as many of them views it. If this clearly explained to them, and they gets to understand that there are no male or female careers, most of them will pursue the course.
The government should first look for people to go to high schools and advice students to take nursing at their university level. The second thing should be to offer scholarships to the students taking the nursing course out of the large portion of money kept aside for the project which is approximately $850 billion for the whole project. If this project applied efficiently, all the nurses’ problem will be solved. If the project is applied immediately changes will be well noticed in five years time.
If the government for the other solution of importing nurses from other countries is implemented since it seems to be cheaper, the government will have created another problem of unemployment to its country. This will be due to the fact that its citizens will not be employed. This being the only problem that may come as a result, the government is advised to do away with this recommendation and go for the others.
Before suggesting any solutions that would be effective in overcoming the shortage of nurses in the healthcare industry, it would be important to focus on the effectiveness of the solutions. The solution of encouraging students to pursue nursing as a career would be effective in increasing the number of nurses in the healthcare industry. This strategy would be effective because it would involve experts in the medical field. These experts would have to visits students and advise them on the importance of pursuing nursing in the higher education level. Some students have the passion of pursuing the career but the fact that they lack adequate information on the career they place it on the second or third priorities of their careers.
Motivation is one of the most important strategies that would assist people create a positive self drive. On this note, the strategy of increasing the benefits and wages of the nurses would be a way that would have a positive impact in the healthcare industry. This is because some people have a passion for but the fact that the career has poor wages de-motivates them. Once the federal government implements the strategy of increasing the benefits and wages for the nurses, many students would pursue nursing as a career. This would automatically counter the challenge of having a shortage in the number of nurses in healthcare facilities. The benefits and the wages would act as a form of extrinsic motivation since it is of a materialistic nature. The main point however is the fact that it would have impacted positively in the healthcare industry.
The ideology that nursing is a career meant for women is misleading and has been one of the reasons why the healthcare industry has suffered the blow of having a shortage in the number of nurses. As a result of this ideology, very few male students will want to be associated with nursing in the future. This problem would however be eliminated if this ideology would be shunned away. This would be achieved by counseling young male students and advising them to pursue nursing as a future career. The impact of such a measure would have a positive impact to the healthcare industry.
Health is crucial for the economic growth and development of any country. Any country should therefore invest fully in any sector involved in the provision of health care services to the population. The health of any country can be regarded as a matter of national security; it should hence be given the first priority in the development goals of any country. The challenges facing the healthcare centers such as the shortage in the number of nurses should be countered. In the drive to maintain the health status of any nation, the nation should come up with the most effective management procedures in managing health centers. Management is what leads to the success and prosperity of any organization. With good management, the federal government would ensure that every health center has enough staff. To enhance operation of the health centers in any country, management lessons should be given to the leaders involved in running these health centers. Considering the health centers of any country, they should be well facilitated and with qualified staff members. This would bring efficiency and effectiveness towards bringing up a healthy nation that would be productive in all the sectors of the economy.
Bodenheimer T. and Kevin Grumbach K., Understanding Health Policy, McGraw Hill
Bruce, B. and Fottler M. Human Resources In Healthcare: Managing for Success, health
Administration Press, 2008.
Barker A. and M. Ginter P., Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the
Profession, Jones and Bartlett, 2008.
Cogan J., Hubbard R.,and Kessler D. Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps to a Better
Care System, AEI Press, 2005.
Polit D. and Tatano C. Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for
Nursing Practice, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007.