Contemporary Issues

Topics: Nursing, Registered nurse, Nursing specialties Pages: 3 (1127 words) Published: February 11, 2007
Contemporary Issues
This paper will discuss a contemporary health issue and its potential impact on the nursing profession. As the nursing profession continues to grow, society has begun to see a decrease in the number of nurses in the profession. According to NursingWorld (2005) "The nation's hospitals have 126,000 vacancies for nursing professions. In addition, 75 percent of all hospitals vacancies are for nurses." Currently Registered Nurses are at the top of the list of occupations with projected job growth. So why are so many nurses leaving the profession resulting in a shortage? Is America truly experiencing a nursing shortage or are nurses just better educated, resulting in additional responsibilities? Today most nursing programs only allow a very limited number of students to enroll in nursing programs. Many qualified applicants are being rejected for admission-based on multiple factors. These facilities lack funding to train nurses and they also lack the staff and facilities to train students. A Dec. 15, 2004, National League of Nursing (NLN) study "confirmed that an estimated 125,000 nursing school applicants per year are turned away from nursing education programs at all levels, resulting from a critical shortage of nursing school faculty." Thus, the output of trained nurse's is falling short to demand. Nurses also continue to experience burnout in their jobs. Since many facilities experience a shortage of qualified staff, they are requiring nurses to work more hours and take care of an increase patient load. Facilities are also lacking benefits such as adequate sick leave, retirement, and insurance. Therefore, nurses are experiencing feelings of health and patient safety concerns. As nurses continue to encounter deterioration in work conditions, they are less likely to continue in their present jobs and consider early retirement. Nurses are not recommending their family and friends to receive care at particular organizations...

References: NursingWorld (2005). American nurses association facts on the nursing shortage. Retrieved April 6, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nursingworld.org/readroom/fsshortage.htm
National League of Nursing (2005). Retrieved April 5, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nln.org/aboutnln/nursetrends.htm
Online Journals of Issues in Nursing (2002). Retrieved April 6, 2006 from the World Wide Web http://nursingworld.org/ojin/topic14/tpc14_5.htm
Nurses (2002). Major study links shortage to death rates. Retrieved from the World Wide Web:
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3689/is_200212/ai_n9159542
United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2002). HHS awards $30 million to
address emerging nurse shortage. Retrieved April 7, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2002pres/20020604.html
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