Running head: NURSING SHORTAGE 1


Nursing Shortage

Monica Castelao

Grand Canyon University

Nursing Shortage

Demand for improved healthcare services has increased tremendously over the years thereby creating a shortage for nurses to take care of the patients. The primary obstacle facing healthcare industry is constant changes in demography which has in turn pushed for an expansion of the working force and the period required to train new nurses (Bucha, Duffield & Jordan, 2015). Shortage of nurses has also brought up challenging values to the industry making most of the practitioners to ask themselves if they can take care of their patients when they are not enough in number. Perhaps, the primary reason for nurse’s shortage is the inability of schools enrolment of new students because of lack of nursing school faculties (Nardi, & Gyurko, 2013).


In intensive care units (ICUs) most nurses are exposed to a lot of stress. According to Rosseter (2012) primary reason for nurse’s turnover in intensive care units is their inability to counter stress associated with working in the department. On top of that, the long hours and the amount of stress also reduce nurse’s cognitive skills. World Health Organization, for instance, has given several detailed reports regarding nurse shortages in ICUs of several countries around the globe (Stoddart & Evans, 2017). The report goes further to show that staff levels and the working conditions have been the primary reasons for nursing shortages in ICUs.


Intensive care unit department requires nurses to work for long hours; it is noisy and hectic since it bombards people with all different kinds of stimuli. Nursing in ICU is described as demanding since most of the activities is high risk since patients are often very sick and fighting for their lives (Urden, Stacy, & Lough, 2017). Advancement in technology has escalated the problem because it expects nurses to work very fast to help the ill by using hugely complex machines. This working setup has made most nurses dissatisfied and stressed thus making some resign or discourage other potential future nurses.


Nurses working in ICUs work for very long hours and in stressful conditions which can make them easily suffer from injuries or fatigue. In such scenarios, they are prone to making mistakes which can quickly lead to a patient in critical condition losing their lives or reduce the quality of medical care. In other words, a single error in an ICU can cause alarmingly increase mortality rates in a country that has shortages of nurses in that crucial department (Sawatzky, Enns & Legare, 2015). It is imperative also to note that these uncertain working environments in ICUs promote individualism while at the same time reduce any chances of solidarity and formations of working groups. Nurses may, therefore, feel incompetent in their work making them disengage from what they are supposed to do.


Nurses are vital in every health organization especially when providing quality health care and educating patients about their health. Nurses mostly spend a lot of time with patients during their healing process hence creating some personal relationships along the way. When considering mood and attitude required during the healing process, nurses become even more important since they are trained to persevere and take good care of the ailing patients (Oulton, 2010). Their shortage is, therefore, a global concern that should be addressed in every health organization.


Solving nurse shortages in ICUs requires innovative and long-term remedies that can solve the problem once and for all. One such solution is increased wages for nurses to compensate them for working long and stressful hours (Bryant, 2017). Another solution is to improve nursing images by encouraging the already available nurses to freely communicate with the press about the benefits of nursing to a society. A good image can help in promoting the profession by encouraging others to join the industry.


Bryant, C. R. (2017). From the Top Down: Assisting Critical Care Nurses in Coping with Job Stresses.

Buchan, J., Duffield, C., & Jordan, A. (2015). ‘Solving’nursing shortages: do we need a New Agenda?. Journal of nursing management23(5), 543-545.

Nardi, D. A., & Gyurko, C. C. (2013). The global nursing faculty shortage: Status and solutions for change. Journal of Nursing Scholarship45(3), 317-326.

Oulton, J. A. (2010). The global nursing shortage: an overview of issues and actions. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice7(3_suppl), 34S-39S.

Rosseter, R. (2012). Nursing shortage. American Association for the Colleges of Nursing. Found.

Sawatzky, J. A. V., Enns, C. L., & Legare, C. (2015). Identifying the key predictors for retention in critical care nurses. Journal of advanced nursing71(10), 2315-2325.

Stoddart, G. L., & Evans, R. G. (2017). Producing health, consuming health care. In Why are some people healthy and others not? (pp. 27-64). Routledge.

Urden, L. D., Stacy, K. M., & Lough, M. E. (2017). Critical Care Nursing-E-Book: Diagnosis and Management. Elsevier Health Sciences.