America’s hospitals, clinics, and medical institutions simply wouldn’t be able to operate in the way they do without the hard-working doctors, ancillary staff and other professionals who do their jobs every day. Perhaps the main heroes who keep hospitals ticking over, though, are the nurses: from administering life-saving medicines to providing care and comfort during difficult times, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate these wonderful people. But the wider picture is fraught with challenges, and there are more pressures on this profession than ever. From not enough recruits to a growing population, the demands on nursing are rising fast. This article will explore why this is happening and how the situation can be resolved.
At its core, the medical profession is by far one of the most essential parts of the labor market, and nursing is no exception. America’s success as a nation is directly linked to its relatively excellent healthcare outcomes, and these need to be kept in place to ensure the country continues to prosper. Having fleets of educated, top-quality nurses in hospitals across the country means that hospital stays are shorter, so people can get back to work as soon as possible.
Investing in more nurses is also a good idea because it means that the pressure can be relieved on those who already work in the profession. If a nursing staff member has to be absent due to ill health, for example, the work falls to the remaining nurses to fill – and busier, more stressed out nurses isn’t good for either them or the patient.
As budgets are squeezed, there are fewer nurses to do more work, and while every nurse tries his or her best to stay on top of the workload and deliver caring and good quality service to as many patients as possible, sometimes people and tasks slip through the net through no fault of the nurse. Investing in education and creating a larger supply of talented nurses can help avert the potential tragedies that this kind of overwork can cause.
When it comes to the population distribution in the US, it’s clear that the number of people who live here is rising by millions each year. One of the main side effects of this population growth is that services such as hospitals require much more capacity to be able to provide help to everyone who needs it. As a result, more nurses are required on an urgent basis – and with the population of the US expected to grow to almost 400 million by 2050, the need for nursing staff is only likely to rise and rise as time goes on.
Fewer Nursing Recruits
The nursing profession has always been a popular one, and to some extent it still is. But overall, there aren’t quite enough nurses in the US to meet the demand for them. There are a variety of reasons for this: nursing schools, for example, are turning away some well-qualified applicants due to a lack of openings, while some medical employers are finding that the relatively low paid nature of nursing work means that some people are simply making other career choices.
But the schools that do manage to take on lots of recruits are doing so by offering new nurses flexibility when it comes to getting the right qualifications. The AAS in nursing is a good choice for many, as it gives candidates more options when it comes to their education by covering many of the potential tasks a modern nurse will need to complete. And by offering benefits such as housing to nurses who are in the early stages of their careers, many medical institutions are redressing the balance and providing nurses with the resources they need to carve out a successful professional life.
Nurses are some of the most valuable professionals in our society, and as a result, they are rightly respected by many. But this doesn’t go far enough. Structural changes are needed to ensure that there are enough nurses available to meet demand and that they are properly trained with rigorous educational programs. By implementing schemes to recruit more nurses, recognizing that nurses currently experience large workloads and encouraging medical institutions to place nursing staff supply front and center when planning their responses to demographic shifts, there are lots of ways that nursing can attain the fully protected and well-resourced status it deserves.