Nursing Shortage: An Economic Thesis

Pages: 3 (989 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

Nursing Shortage: An Economic Overview

Despite the dire warnings about the rapidly-contracting U.S. economy, one profession has a serious deficit of individuals needed to satisfy the demand for workers, that of the nursing profession. The shortage of registered nurses (RNs) in the U.S. could reach as high as 500,000 by 2025 according to a report entitled the Future of the Nursing Workforce in the United States: Data, Trends and Implications. The report found that the demand for RNs is expected to grow by 2% to 3% each year, but the nursing profession is rapidly aging, and numbers of nursing graduates are on the decline (Rosseter 2008). The population of the United States is also aging, and the need for nurses to provide care for a national population with expanded medical needs is unlikely to go away, and may even exceed projected demand. Cost-cutting has also shifted more healthcare activities to the shoulders of nurses rather than doctors, again increasing demand upon nurses in most healthcare settings.

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Not only is there a serious shortage of nurses, but also a shortage of nursing faculty. Nursing schools must turn qualified applicants away, simply because of a shortage of resources and fewer numbers of slots in nursing graduate and undergraduate programs. This also reduces the overall supply of nurses, even if hospitals provide financial incentives for new graduates and transfers. Additionally, the lack of higher education is also troubling for the profession, given that higher-quality graduate education can improve the quality of care for patients. Higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes are linked, given that patients have a "substantial survival advantage if treated in hospitals with higher proportions of nurses educated at the baccalaureate or higher degree level. In hospitals, a 10% increase in the proportion of nurses holding BSN degrees decreased the risk of patient death and failure to rescue by 5%" (Rosseter 2008).

TOPIC: Thesis on Nursing Shortage: An Economic Overview Despite the Assignment

The Nursing Shortage is exacerbated by the flight of more and more nurses from the profession. As the shortage grows, the nurses that remain find themselves increasingly beset by the stresses of the shortage at work. "Almost all surveyed nurses see the shortage in the future as a catalyst for increasing stress on nurses (98%), lowering patient care quality (93%) and causing nurses to leave the profession (93%)"(Rosseter 2008). Nurses must work longer hours, and compensation for overtime is clearly not enough to make up for the burden this is placing upon them. The economic law of marginal utility suggests that every new item or unit is valued slightly less than the unit before it, thus after a certain point the value of accumulated overtime hours, no matter how high the pay, does not compensate for the loss of personal time, and the costs of the stress of working in an overburdened workplace. The first principle of economics, that people face tradeoffs, is manifest in the fact that the trade-off of more money is not enough to compensate for poor… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Nursing Shortage: An Economic.  (2008, October 18).  Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nursing-shortage-economic-overview/78057

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"Nursing Shortage: An Economic."  18 October 2008.  Web.  28 November 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nursing-shortage-economic-overview/78057>.

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"Nursing Shortage: An Economic."  Essaytown.com.  October 18, 2008.  Accessed November 28, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nursing-shortage-economic-overview/78057.