Nursing Shortage

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The Impact of the Nursing Shortage
University of Phoenix
Contemporary Issues and Health Policy
NUR 478
Deborah W. Ayers-Facilitator
Jun 21, 2006

The Impact of the Nursing Shortage
The nursing shortage has had a cyclical pattern in the United States for many years. There have been brief periods of time with too many nurses and even longer periods with too few nurses. Previous efforts to increase the nursing population have been made in the past. One such effort included the Nurse Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Bush in 2002. This act provided loans and scholarships, public services for recruitment, and more, in an effort to alleviate the nursing shortage, the funds were distributed by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Continuous legislative efforts are being made by the ANA, AHA and other healthcare organizations. Currently, efforts to secure passage of Bills S.71 Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2005 and H.R. 1372, Quality Nursing Care Act of 2005 are being made by the ANA and their sponsors in Congress. These bills would require the development of staffing systems. With the aging of the nurses and the baby boomers, there is an increase in demand for quality healthcare. With the dawning of the shortage, nurses have to deal with an increase of legal and ethical dilemmas. Some of these issues include an increase in work load, decrease in staff, staying within the parameters of standards, abiding the codes of ethics and giving quality care. Regardless of the shortage, a nurse has a commitment to beneficence and nonmaleficence while maintaining autonomy to him or herself as well as the patient. Nurses have a professional obligation and legal duty to their patients to provide safe and competent care regardless of the current situation one faces. They must put the patient's needs before their own. Why the cycle of the shortage in nursing? In the...
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