How To Effectively Tackle The Problem Of Nursing Shortage

By Karen P Williams

There is a grave need for qualified and dedicated nurses in this day and age. There has been a proliferation of many hospitals, medical centers and facilities as people get access to medical facilities on the back of insurance and better living standards. This gets manifested in the form of acute nursing shortage that is endemic around the globe and in the US too. If you look around in government and also private hospitals, you will find that the number of nurses is far less than what should be, which leads to glaring gaps and lacunae in the kind of service and patient care facilities that people can expect.

Causes for nursing shortage

There are many causes for the glaring nursing shortage that the country and the medical system face today. For one, there are just not enough people willing to get into the profession. A lot of this has to do with the inherent image problem that the profession faces. While a lot of young people would love to become doctors, there is quite a bit of hesitation among them to take up nursing as it is not considered to be a glamorous or exciting profession. In some cases, people are downright ashamed to admit that they are nurses, and these holds true more for males rather than females.


The second problem is that of remuneration. While nursing as a vocation demands a lot from people, the returns and rewards in terms of salaries are just not lucrative enough. This is enough to put off people who might have otherwise considered the profession if it had paid more. Nowadays a lot of people would rather tend bars or perhaps work online, rather than taking up a nursing course and build a career there.

Ways to tackle nursing shortage

Serious efforts have to be made to tackle the image problem that the nursing profession is stuck with. The profession has to be made more lucrative and worth the while in terms of salaries so that it may be able to attract the right kind of talent. This is something that hospitals as well as medical centers have to consider on an urgent basis, if the nursing shortage problem is to be tackled head on.

It may also help to get foreign nurses who can fill in the gap posed by local labor shortages. There are many nursing professionals from the developing world who are more than willing to come to the US and work here. Efforts have to be made to spread the net wide and roll out a red carpet for talent from overseas. If needed, such nurses could also be given crash courses in the English language and also culture adaptation courses so that they can fit into the US environment seamlessly.

It is high time that the nursing shortage problem was tackled with determination and resolve. You cannot depend on age old and hackneyed solutions to tackle this huge crisis, which is why it is absolutely necessary to think out of the box and creatively in order to provide solutions effectively to a problem that is fast getting out of hand.

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