Edited by Ayodele Nwosu
Published on August 17th, 2014
The main issue in the health industry today is the increasing shortage of professional nurses. Hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities are desperately seeking qualified individuals to fill the needs of their operation. A recent change in certification requirements has spread the gap in nursing positions effecting those individuals already holding their CNA, LVN, and RN. Many nurses are currently going back to school, working hard to keep up with the educational demands in the nursing field. In the meantime, the need for trained nurses remains unfulfilled decreasing the nurse to patient ratio.
There are multiple reasons contributing to the nursing shortage. I spoke with Dr. Nabil Aboukhair who explained the issues that he has witnessed in the profession. The most recent cause he stated was the implementation of Obamacare. Although it was implemented with good intentions, Obamacare has increased medical costs which is putting a strain on budgets. Consequently, medical facilities are unable to pay nurses enough to keep them in the field. The turnover rate in the nursing field has increased as individuals leave to pursue another high paying career.
A second cause is the change in certification requirements has eliminated the need for LVN’s. Therefore, medical facilities are employing more CNA’s for medial tasks and RN’s to cover the entire workload. This shortage of LVNs puts more stress on the RN’s because they have to work longer hours and do all of the tasks that LVNs used to take care of in addition to their routine tasks. This increased workload without the increase in pay is causing nurses to seek other positions.
Finally, Dr. Aboukhair said that the hours and demands have increased the stress on nurses in the medical field. Nurses are finding that the work is hard and the pay is low. Nursing is a field that one must strongly feel called into in order to survive the current conditions and changes in the field.
I feel that this issue is important to the nursing field because it changes the focus of nursing professionals. First, individuals must consider these issues before jumping into a career in nursing. Unless you educate yourself and pursue the highest degree in nursing, then you will not be making six figures as a nurse. This field is a ministry more than a financial gain. Nurses dedicate their career to caring for others in their time of need, serving in a humble and loving manner to meet their patient’s physical and emotional needs without focusing on the monetary gain.
Second, future nurses must be willing to continue to pursue further education as a life-long learner. The changes in the medical field are not temporary. In the twenty first century, every field from education to medicine is realizing the need to continuously grow in our knowledge and practice in order to be the best we can be. Nurses are no different. We need to be prepared to search for answers and be willing to further educate ourselves.
Finally, nursing careers are hard work. Individuals need to be prepared to work hard and get the job done well. Without nurses, patient care will not exist. Nurses are on the front lines of health care. They are the hands-on care givers for every patient that crosses into a clinic, hospital, or other medical facility. Nurses are the face of care which makes patients feel at ease and confidant in the professional capabilities of the health care provider. If the nursing shortage continues to grow, then patients will not receive the support they need in order to be properly cared for. This will effect society as a whole. Health care is needed in order to protect our communities and nation from disease and premature death. It is up to nurses to be dedicated throughout all of the changes in order to care for the sick.