Addressing the nursing shortage is a difficult task. The shortage itself seems to be caused by a number of factors that all remain catch-22’s. Sorting through these factors is necessary in order to address the shortage, but how can the shortage begin to be alleviated? Creative staffing alone will not fill the void of nurses that remains, but there are other ways in which people are working to salvage the nursing profession in the United States.
When the factors behind the nursing shortage are thoroughly analyzed, it becomes apparent that in order to begin to fix the problem, one of the factors in this cycle needs to be stopped. The cycle is such that there are fewer nurses because many older nurses are retiring. However, there are fewer nursing graduates entering the field because of a lack of funding to nursing schools and programs. How can these younger nurses be expected to enter the field if their educational needs cannot be met? The most important way in which the nursing shortage can be addressed is through this avenue. In order for the shortage to begin to be alleviated, the lack of funding and space in these nursing programs needs to be evaluated. Because of these constraining factors, not enough applicants can be accepted and therefore graduate ready to enter the field –and the shortage continues to grow.
Creativity with Budgetary Resources
Many nursing agencies and other concerned groups are pushing for budget changes in their various states and even in the United States’ government. They hope these budget changes can address the issue of nursing programs’ lack of funding. In order to meet the rising demand for nurses, these schools must be able to operate to their fullest capacity, and the budget changes should reflect that.
Other ways the nursing shortage is being addressed are through recruiting programs. These nurse recruiters may work for an agency, or they may work for a specific hospital or clinic. These recruiters are responsible for rounding up qualified applicants for their vacant positions, which can be a difficult and demanding job as there are fewer nursing graduates. While they may use creative options like travel jobs to attract would-be nurses, hospitals and clinics across the country will continue to suffer from a shortage until the budget issues are addressed.