Nurse Shortage in Health Care

Nurse Shortage in Health Care
Nurse Shortage in Health Care

Problem Statement

The United States health care system is experiencing a great demand for health care services beyond the capacity in which they can hold. According to the bureau of labor statistic, there united states have the largest number of health care providers adding to a total of 3million (Darkwa, Newman, Kawkab, & Chowdhury, 2015). Despite this enormous number, there exist a great nurse shortage which has been represented by the increased patient to nurses ration of ten nurses to responsible for providing care for 1000 patients (Van et al,. 2013). With this high nurse patient dependency ratio, research highlights that there is a growing demand for health care professionals where there has been a projection of about 16% growth in the nursing occupation by 2024 (Yang, Hung, & Chen, 2015). Due to this issue patient are experiencing reduced quality health outcomes since the present health care providers are not able to satisfy the needs of the population. As a result, there is an elevating workload for these hospital workforce that lead to reduced patient safety and thus increased incidences of medical errors.

In addition, the problem have also increased nurse burn outs and intention to leave the nursing career among the care providers have also escalated. This has consequently led to the increasing challenge. The increased aging population of care providers have significantly contributed to the growing shortage as more nurses are retiring form the job and thus not meeting the demand (Darkwa et al., 2015). However, the increasing number of aging population is experiencing major chronic medical conditions that are consequently demanding for more attention. This therefore have led to the elevation of this problem in the United States. The purpose of the research proposal is to examine the association between nurse shortage and patient health outcomes as well as developing an appropriate intervention to solve this critical issue in the health care system.

Research Questions

1. What are the major causes of nurse shortage in the United States health care problem?

2. Is there an association between nurse shortage and patient

health outcomes?

3. Which is the most appropriate intervention to reduce nurse shortage in the US health care system?

Picot Question

For hospital having current number of nurses {P} , how does increasing nursing schoolcapacity to have more qualified nurses in the market {I}, compared to the existing nurse shortage {C} influence the patient outcome [O] over the years {T}.

Purpose of the Research

There is a nurse shortage in the health care system of the United States. In addressing this issue the researchers will be focused in determining the age, gender and the level of satisfaction of the nurses as the main characteristics.


TheUnited States nursing is among the leading job creators in the US economy contributing to over 2.7 million health care nurses. It is projected that form 2014-2024, there will be an increased job vacancy of over 1.3 nursing vacancies (Van et al., 2013)There is reduced number of nursing students enrolling for nursing course and this has created more shortage. In a research by the American journal of nursing about 56 % of all the 756 nursing schools reported to have a great deficit in the holding capacities of the school amounting to 1236 vacancies(Dawson et al., 2014). A significant nurse shortage issue thus exist.


Following this problem in this critical health system an appropriate and long life intervention is desired so as to solve the issue. The government need to increase funding for nursing education which can significantly increase the nursing student enrollment. With increased qualified and skilled nurses within the health care centers patient outcome would greatly be reduced as a result of reduced workload and job satisfaction among nurses.

Alternative to the intervention

An alternative approach that would also enhance increased patient outcome as well as reduced nurse shortage due because of increased job retention is providing high wages and improving the hospital working environment.


With the development of appropriate intervention to reduce nurse shortages within the nursing environment, patient health outcomes would also be enhanced. This would as well improve provision of quality services since nurses would no longer experience workload leading to burnout. Additionally, it’s expected that nurses would also have job satisfaction and thus serving the health care for a longer period. It is expected that patient safety would also be enhanced due to reduction in incidences of medical errors.

Darkwa, E. K., Newman, M. S., Kawkab, M., & Chowdhury, M. E. (2015). A qualitative study of factors influencing retention of doctors and nurses at rural healthcare facilities in Bangladesh. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1). doi:10.1186/s12913-015-1012-z

Dawson, A. J., Stasa, H., Roche, M. A., Homer, C. S., & Duffield, C. (2014). Nursing churn and turnover in Australian hospitals: nurses perceptions and suggestions for supportive strategies. BMC Nursing, 13(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6955-13-11

Van, K., Florquin, M., Bruyneel, L., Aiken, L., Diya, L., Lesaffre, E., &Sermeus, W. (2013). Effective strategies for nurse retention in acute hospitals: A mixed method study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(2), 185-194. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.12.001

Yang, P., Hung, C., & Chen, Y. (2015). The impact of three nursing staffing models on nursing outcomes. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(8), 1847-1856. doi:10.1111/jan.12643


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