Managing Changes during Clinical Staff Shortages

Presented below are the findings and recommendations that have been determined in this paper:
1.1 Factors that are influencing the shortage include the increasing age of working nurses, the potential for retirement, reduced enrolment in nursing programs, poor compensation and increased demands
1.2 There is a misconception that the field of nursing is solely for women. With the increase in professional opportunities in other fields for women, there have been less people studying in nursing schools.
1.3 Administrators of medical institutions need to explore the various ways by which they can retain nurses and attract new ones to the profession in order to address the current and growing problem of shortage.
1.4 Various strategies that may influence the nurses today to stay in their positions and for people to be encouraged to study nursing. These include: Offering monetary incentives such as sign-on bonuses, tuition assistance, loan forgiveness, and salary increases. Offering flexible work schedules. Engaging staff in strategy development and decision making as a way of increasing job satisfaction. and Partnering with local colleges and universities to develop a stream of workers for the future.
An analysis of the current state of the nursing profession makes it evident that there exists a current shortage in available nurses. Not only is this a problem for administrators of medical institutions, nurses across the country are experiencing the grip of this fast-moving shortage as well, including those who work in correctional facilities.
The shortage of registered nurses is causing the quality of nursing services, provided by the hospitals, to drop down. More significant is the fact that such problem is not deemed as a short-term issue, in fact many healthcare managers now believe that it is a long-term problem that must be addressed at the earliest possible time. This is because the shortage is estimated to reach 500,000 positions by the year 2020 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2002). A recent study by the Chicago tribune revealed that thousands of patients die every year because of the lack of sufficient staff. (Sechrist, Lewis 2000, pg 35)
With such a situation, it is of great importance healthcare managers to find the possible ways by which they can deal with the current clinical staff shortage. Finding ways to manage such shortage is critical to all medical institutions including correctional facilities in order to properly provide quality service to users. This is the reason why managing clinical staff shortage has been chosen as the topic for this discussion.
3 Critical Discussion
There are various factors that have been identified as contributors to the growing shortage in nurses. These include the increasing age of working nurses, the potential for retirement, and reduced enrolment in nursing programs, poor compensation