Hospital Nursing Shortages

Running head: HOSPITAL NURSING RECRUITMENTHospital Nursing Shortages; Recruitment Strategies
University of Phoenix
HCS/ 427Hospital Nursing Shortages; Recruitment Strategies
The Medical- surgical unit at ABC Hospital is experiencing a critical nursing shortage. Based upon research, this paper will concentrate on a plan developed to deal with the critical health care personnel shortages. For the past ten years, media and statistics have reported the shortage of nurses. One would think that the rise in the economic crises has contributed to the increasing number of nursing and other health care personnel shortages.
Years ago, most little girls wanted to grow up to be nurses so they could take care of people. They expressed their interest by treating their baby dolls, pets and stuffed animals as if they were sick patients. That was during the time that alcohol and band-aids was used for everything. Times have changed and so have the minds of the modernized children.
Nurses all over the country are constantly reporting the ratio of nurses to patient and the inability to provide proper and safe care to patients. Realistically thinking, hospital nursing shortages could be based upon overwhelming workloads. It has been reported that forty percent of hospital nurses have burnout levels that exceed the normal status for health care workers (Aikens et al, 2009).
Hospital nurses dissatisfaction with their jobs has exceeded four times greater than the average amount of all other United States employees. The legislature in California became involved with the massive decrease in the ratio of nurses to patients. Their recommended ratio varied from 3 to 10 patients per nurse. The massive amount of nurse shortages in the medical-surgical unit could put patients at risk of dying or not being rescued or cared for in a timely manner.
It has been predicted that health care shortages may get worse before getting better and grow to more than 1 million nurses by 2020. In 2006 ??“ 2207, nursing schools had become a part of the reason for nursing shortages. They turned down more than 42,000 qualified applicants. Although the demand for nurses and other health care training programs have been soaring, salaries are rising and the prediction of employment has been long-term.
Nursing schools have been plagued with an increase in the shortage of staff, lack of facilities, hardly any clinical training sites for students to complete their externships and a minimal amount of funds, has contributed to them not being able to keep up with the demands of health care. Nursing schools in the United States has improved their enrollment within the past few years. In an annual report of enrollment in 2006, The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) showed an increase of 5%.
The small percentage mentioned previously is steadily decreasing, causing a short fall of 40% yearly in enrollment which is needed to fulfill the demands of health care facilities. Peter I, Buerhaus, PhD, RN, and colleagues estimated there would be a deficit of about 800,000 nurses by 2020. Health care professionals are reporting negative effects in the quality of care due to nursing shortages.
The increasing shortage of health care workers amplifies malpractice lawsuits. Nurses and other health care staff are performing many duties but, getting paid for one position. This could cause an overwhelming effect to the person on the receiving end. When reflecting on shortages in health care staffing, one would mainly think of the ever-increasing workload of other staff members but, the patient suffers as well.
Services rendered by hospitals are getting cut back or stopped due to staffing shortages. Pharmacist, Environmental services, radiology, imaging technicians and laboratory technicians are also short staffed. Patients may be sent to different locations or rescheduled to come back at a later date and time to be serviced.
Increased levels of stress and burn-out begin to surface along with drastic mistakes due to exhaustion and mental depletion. Low employee morale and disrespect amongst staff could be attributed to factors related to nurse retention.
Burn-out could occur when a nurse or other medical personnel has worked their eight or twelve hour shift and another employee scheduled for relief calls out of work or comes in later than the appointed time. The person waiting to be relieved has to stay until a supervisor appoints coverage for the hours needed or until that shift is over.
Increased workloads, longer shifts and limited resources to provide the best quality of care for patients has ignited job dissatisfaction amongst nurses and health care workers. Developing a plan of action could be a helpful tool in solving problems concerning nursing and health care staffing shortages in the medical-surgical unit of the ABC hospital.
The department manager and Human Resources major concern should be hiring a person that has the ability function and maintain the integrity, skills and needs of the hospital. The nursing field has not been as appealing to the younger generation as it has in the past. Having knowledge of that will help HR and departmental managers create new nursing models.
To successfully attract the right candidate for employment, HR must make the position attractive. During staffing shortages, recruiting new employees may be difficult. The department manager and human resources representative has to if the position will be offered internally and externally.
Some hospitals implement internship programs that lead to long ??“ term relationships. Students become familiar with the organization while displaying their educational knowledge and developing work skills. This process will allow department managers to observe the qualities and techniques of the students.
Advertising sign-up bonuses for new hires with conditions of be payable after 90 days of employment, could prove to be successful. The department managers and HR associates should keep current employees happy and satisfied while recruiting is in progress. The best source of advertisement is word of mouth from employees already working for the organization.
With regards to the rising economic crisis, employee referrals programs may be introduced to the hospital and may be disbursed upon the 90 day anniversary of the employee referred. Networking and word of mouth are closely related in description. Networking occurs in conversation while talking to friends or business associates and relatives, particularly those familiar with your organization. The hospital could set up a booth or table and be a part of the job fair. This will allow the organization to observe the competition and possibly conduct on the spot interviews. If a candidate is chosen, they will be scheduled at a later date for a more detailed interview.
The department manager may seek help from a search firm such as; Career Builders, Monster Jobs, and Craig??™s list, one that has been made popular in recent years. During employment shortages, the key element would be hiring a new hire at a lower pay rate than the previous employee while keeping advertisement budgets at a minimum.
Nursing staff and other employees were usually concerned with the benefits offered and by the organization. It has been stated that nurses prefer better working conditions and lighter workloads when on duty. A health care shortage has put more stress on individuals working placing patients at a greater risk of being neglected. The benefits package will include tuition reimbursement for employees and immediate family members, retirement fund information, and free credit union enrollment.
Human Resources are a challenging department. A lot of decisions for employment are dependent on their guidelines and stipulations. Teamwork, dedication and respect for one another will help HR function effectively and proficiently.
ReferencesOrtega, D. (2006, May) Invest in employee satisfaction for successful recruitment and retention. Benefits & Compensation Digest, 43(5), 16
Aiken, L. (2007). Hospital nurse staffing and patient mortality, nurse burnout, and job dissatisfaction. Retrieved April, 19, 2009 from
Buerhaus, P. (2008). Current and future state of the us nursing workforce. JAMA, 300 (20), 2422-2424.

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