Nursing Shortage: Leaders or Managers?
Tonya D. Martin
Grand Canyon University
The nursing profession is experiencing an overwhelmingly grim shortage of clinical nurses. It is predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that the demand for nurses is going to increase approximately 60% between the years 2008 and 2018. Of those who graduate from nursing school, 50% leave the profession within their first two years of practice (Ferrell, et al, 2011). The problem is further compounded by the aging of the currents nursing population. With such a shortage in clinical nurses our nation is facing a healthcare crisis. Patient safety and care are compromised, nurses are stressed and overwhelmed and higher turnover rates are noted (Ferrell, et al). Nurses in managerial and leadership roles must take into consideration all factors contributing to the nursing shortage and implement tactics of recruitment and retention of future and current clinical staff nurses. Below I will compare and contrast tactics nurse managers and leaders may utilize to tackle this issue. I will also discuss the approach I believe best fits my own personal and professional philosophy of nursing.
The challenge of addressing the nursing shortage and retention of experienced nurses falls upon nurse managers and leaders alike. Nurse managers and leaders are utilizing many of the same tactics to combat the nursing shortage. Problem solving, decision making, motivation and communication are skills very important to both managers and leaders. In this situation managers and leaders can make use of the contingency theory. The current nursing shortage is different than past shortages, baby boomers are aging and the demand just outweighs the supply (Ramey, 2002). Nurse managers and leaders must adapt to these changes and recruit and retain nurses based of nurse needs and wants. Communicating with clinical nurses allows managers and leaders to find a solution...
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