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Reducing the Nursing Shortage

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Reducing the Nursing Shortage

Reducing the Nursing Shortage
In America today the nursing shortage has affected health care in many ways. The article “Nurse-Staffing Levels and the Quality of Care in Hospitals” written by Needleman, Buerhaus, Mattke, Stewart, Zelevinsky (2002), describes the effects the nursing shortage has on the quality of care provided to patients in the hospital setting. The authors of the article present the methods used to obtain data, background information causing the nursing shortage, results of the data obtained and proposals to improve patient outcomes and nursing retention.
Influential Factors Contributing to the Nursing Shortage
The nursing shortage today is because of a number of influential factors that has resulted in a decrease in new graduates in the health care workforce. The nursing shortage is believed to have started around the mid-1990s, and during this time span, the turnover rate for LPN’s and RN’s began to rise (Page, 2004). The article did not identify the reasons for the shortage of nursing. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) identifies five of the most common factors contributing to the shortage. These factors are high patient to nurse ratios, declining nursing school enrollments, insufficiency of nursing school instructors, increase in the age of the average nurse over the past decade, and high stress levels have led to nurses leaving the profession (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013). The AACN reported a 5.1% increase in 2011 in entry level baccalaureate programs; this still would not be enough to meet the needs projected for nursing in the future (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013).
Challenges and Consequences Related To the Nursing Shortage
Needleman et al. (2002) used administrative data collected from 799 hospitals in 11 states to examine…...

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