Nursing shortage basically refers to a situation where the number of registered nurses is less that the demand. Currently this is a global problem to both developed and developing countries. Major causes of nursing shortage include lack of trained nurses, lack of enough funds to employ nurses and failure of the government to negotiate working terms with available nurses pertaining employment, working conditions and terms of payment. This has made nursing shortage a global concern especially with increases in demand for health care due to rise in the number of accidents and dangerous diseases such as HIV and Aids.
Research has been conducted on how to come up with an everlasting solution to nursing shortage. According to an article, "The Grim Truth about the Faculty Shortage in nursing" from Medscape Today journal, the author has come up with a systematic assessment of strategies to addressing the nursing shortage in the US. In this article the author highlights the trend of nursing shortage in the US in the past years and what is expected to happen in the years to come if an everlasting solution if not found. The article is based on systematic literature review from 2000 onward.
Several strategies for solving nursing shortage have been highlighted in this article which include advocacy where mass media should be used to promote positive image of nursing in terms of information exchange and encourage stakeholders alliances globally. Emphasize on academic innovation to optimize nursing resources, establishment of educational partnerships where academic nursing institutions team up to come up with clear goals and develop mutual plans and nurses expectations. Lastly, an organized funding system should be established to provide for financial needs in nursing schools and the healthcare industry in general. The author believes that countries should concentrate on strategies that will provide everlasting solution to nursing shortage, though expensive, other than cheap strategies such recruitment of foreign nurses that provide a short term solution to the problem.
"Health services Delivery: Reframing Policies for Global Migration of nurses and Physician" from Policy, politics & nursing practice journal is an article that brings into light the US perspective on recruiting foreign nurses. The author predicts future impact on the US healthcare if it continues to rely on foreign nurses. According the author, the fact that one half of all nurses and physicians in English speaking countries practice in the United States does not provide an everlasting solution to its nursing shortage in future.
Over dependence on foreign nurses by developed countries has created healthcare problems in these countries and also in developing countries where nurses come from. For instance, United States has failed to create sufficient nursing educational capacity for its own needs. Foreign nurses in the US major intentions are to achieve financial satisfaction and not provision of quality healthcare services to the US people. These nurses come from different cultural backgrounds and this makes it difficult for them to deliver quality services to people with different cultural background and religion. On the other hand, developing countries experience nursing shortage after most of their trained nurses migrate to developed countries. The author argues that developed countries should come up with strategies that enable them to domestically cater for their nursing needs.
Generally, an everlasting solution to nursing can be obtained if countries concentrate on creating domestic capacity to cater for nursing needs rather than relying on foreign nurses. Countries and stakeholders in provision of healthcare provision should not concentrate on cheap short-term solutions but on the contrary, strategies that provide long term solution to nursing shortage should be implemented.
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