There will be far more registered nurse jobs available through 2022 than any other profession, at more than 100,000 per year. With more than 500,000 seasoned RNs anticipated to retire by 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need to produce 1.1 million new RNs for expansion and replacement of retirees, and avoid a nursing shortage. (2015, American Nurses Association) For the past 16 months as a nursing student I have witnessed many issues that have a positive and a negative impact on the field of nursing. Sadly, the most negative impact that has stood out to me is the staffing. RNs have long recognized and continue to emphasize that staffing issues are an ongoing problem, one that affects the safety of both the patient and the nurse. It is important to have a strong nurse-to-patient relationship to ensure adequate care is provided. However, when nurses are short staffed this does not occur the way it should because the nurses are now having to take care of more patients. This means that the one-on-one time with each individual patient is cut short and nurses are now becoming overworked which affects their overall performance as well. Ensuring proper staffing levels have been shown to; reduce errors, decrease complications when providing patient care, lower death rates, improve patient satisfaction, reduce nurse fatigue, improve nurse retention and job satisfaction. (2015, American Nurses Association) Optimal staffing is essential in order to provide optimal patient care. Innovative and collaborative strategies that focus on developing long-term solutions will improve the quality of patient care outcomes.
While scarce staffing levels place profound burdens on the nursing staff an...
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...of care that should be provided. Patient care is the ultimate goal in nursing and when the units are short staffed patient care is affected tremendously, in a negative way. The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations proposed bolstering the nursing educational infrastructure through team training in nursing education, enhancing support of nursing orientation, in-service and continuing education in hospitals, and creating nursing career ladders based on educational level and experience. (2014, Healthcare 411) The Joint Commission also supports adopting the characteristics of "magnet hospitals," such as setting staffing levels based on nurse competency and skill mix relative to patient mix and acuity. In addition, it proposes establishing financial incentives for health care organizations to invest in nursing services. (2014, Healthcare 411)
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