University of Phoenix September 3, 2012
Economic Tools and Concepts
The focus of this paper is to present economic tools and concepts pertaining to a health care issue. The issue is nursing shortage. Nursing shortage is an ongoing issue for the health care system. A supply and demand curve will be presented on the issue of nursing shortage. A marginal analysis will be presented. These tools are designed to explore and evaluate the nursing shortage. Registered nurses (RN) are the largest group of health care professionals in the United States, strengthening the entire health care delivery system (Caron, 2004). It is important to understand the effects that a nursing shortage has on the economy and the health care system. Supply and Demand
Supply and demand curves are vital when considering the number of registered nurses available to provide services to patients in need of care. The following chart displays the supply and demand projection through 2020.
“A good or service is said to be scarce when more is desired than can be satisfied with available resources, when demand exceeds supply” (Jones & Yoder, 2010, p. 41). As depicted in the chart the demand continues to increase steadily whereas the supply remains consistent. Nursing is a professional field in which they are there to provide services to the patients. These services must be completed in his or her given shift. “Nurses can thus be conceived as consumers, they spend their time to buy services for their patients” (Jones & Yoder, 2004, p. 44). The nursing shortage has an effect on the services that they can provide. This affects the quality of care that a patient receives. For example if a nurse has too many patients to take care of he or she has to prioritize the patients’ needs and provide the necessary care first. This division of time often leaves some patients with...