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Posted: October 8th, 2023

Nurse Shortage and the Urgent Need for Effective Policy Solutions

Discussion Essay .Answer the question below. Effective initial postings to the discussion should be at least 200 words in length, rarely more than 400 words. Your opinion will come from your reading so you will need to cite and submit one reference in correct APA format to your initial posting and one reference (different from your initial response) to your response to another classmate’s posting. You may use your textbook as one of your references and include at least one peer-reviewed journal article (not older than 5 years). Do not use a website, newsletter, blogs, etc. Please put your name in the subject area when you create your thread.

Chapter 13: Identify one current healthcare policy issue of interest to public health nursing in terms of the policy problem, the solution, interested parties, and their relative power and influence.

Nurse Shortage and the Urgent Need for Effective Policy Solutions

Nurse Shortage and the Urgent Need for Effective Policy Solutions
The nurse shortage in the United States: of policy and practice issue demanding urgent attention and strategic intervention. Nurse demand is predicted to rise due to population aging and rising healthcare needs. However, RN supply cannot meet demand, causing a healthcare staff deficit. RN employment is expected to grow 6% over the next decade, according to BLS Employment Projections 2021-2031. Approximately 195,400 nurses will join the RN workforce from 2021 to 2031 (Knighten & Yvanovich, 2023). However, the demand for RNs is expected to exceed the supply, with BLS projecting 203,200 annual openings for new nurses through 2031, when retirements and workforce exit are factored in.
The aging nurse workforce, dwindling nursing school enrollments, and a lack of nursing school faculty contribute to the growing shortage. The average age for a licensed RN is 52 years, indicating potential massive retirement waves within the next fifteen years (Raso, Fitzpatrick & Masick, 2022). The nursing workforce has been under immense strain during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the American Nurses Foundation and the American Nurses Association in March 2022, 52% of nurses considered quitting their current jobs because of staffing shortages that negatively affect their health and overall well-being.
One of the suggested policy solutions for this crisis is implementing nurse-to-patient ratios. For instance, a learning institution can stipulate that only one nurse should handle at most three patients. At the same time, general hospitals may impose a ratio of no more than five patients per senior nurse (McHugh et al., 2021). This will boost efficient patient welfare and create good working environments to guarantee their professional retention.
This is a very important policy to ensure that the healthcare system has enough nursing workforce capacity to deliver quality care, especially with a growing population of the aged population requiring complex nursing services. Therefore, ensuring effective policies and strategies to promote nurse retention is critical for maintaining healthcare in the United States.

Knighten, M. L., & Yvanovich, M. (2023). Transition to Perioperative Specialty Practice: A Solution to RN Outward Migration. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 47(4), 313-319.
McHugh, M. D., Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D. M., Windsor, C., Douglas, C., & Yates, P. (2021). Effects of nurse-to-patient ratio legislation on nurse staffing and patient mortality, readmissions, and length of stay: a prospective study in a panel of hospitals. The Lancet, 397(10288), 1905-1913.
Raso, R., Fitzpatrick, J. J., & Masick, K. (2022). Perceptions of US nurses and nurse leaders on authentic nurse leadership, healthy work environment, intent to leave and nurse well‐being during a second pandemic year: A cross sectional study. Journal of Nursing Management, 30(7), 2699-2706.


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