Answer Discussion Response posts: include at least 2 scholarly sources of evidence, cited within the body of your discussion responses & at the end of yo

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  Response posts: include at least 2 scholarly sources of evidence, cited within the body of your discussion responses  & at the end of your posting, at least 2 references

Current Healthcare Issue-National Shortage in Nursing Resulting in Burnout

           With the recent pandemic, the national nursing shortage has grown tremendously. I chose to analyze this topic as the healthcare issue/stressor in this discussion. Seasoned nurses are experiencing staffing shortages and decreased job satisfaction. Nursing students’ education has been interrupted or altered due to COVID 19 restrictions and mandates being implemented or enforced. Seasoned nurses dealt with political and social frustration brought about by the pandemic and new graduates dealt with difficult onboarding (Buerhaus, 2021). A 2020 survey reported nurses feeling high rates of anxiety, depression, burnout, and work overload contributing to the psychological burden associated with COVID 19 (Buerhaus, 2021). 

           Most healthcare facilities focus on patient satisfaction and reduction of cost ignoring staff job satisfaction and fulfillment. The Quadruple Aim in healthcare to optimize performance was identified by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The Quadruple Aim includes enhancing healthcare quality, improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and improving staff job satisfaction (Beckett & Melnyk, 2018). Healthcare facilities should focus on building resilience amongst nurses and the future of the profession. Providing additional support to nursing staff and focusing on providing safe work environments for nurses should be a priority. Facilities should implement exercises and provide education to staff daily to assess their stress levels and promote self-care. 

           The nursing workforce is predicted to increase to 3.4 million in 2026, with an estimated need for an additional 203,700 new RNs each year to fill the newly created positions and replace retiring nurses (Rosseter, 2019).  Shortages in nursing staff result in unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios, leading to increased workload and burnout.  Thus, compromising patient care and staff retention rates.  

 

Impact of Nursing Shortage at My Workplace

           The pandemic has affected my work environment tremendously. The pandemic has created opportunities for nurses to leave staffing positions and travel making usual annual incomes in 3 months or less. I have seen increases in nurse-to-patient ratios. Nurses are working long hours with lots of overtime. Vacation time is being denied due to a lack of staff. Physical and mental health has declined. The stretch has become the norm and is expected in the daily routine. Staff morale is at an all-time low. The mandated vaccines at our healthcare facility also contributed to a mass exodus of employees refusing the vaccine. The shortage in nursing and wear on the remaining staff nurses has resulted in compromised quality of patient care, patient dissatisfaction, call-ins, and nurses quitting. The influx of travelers that aren’t familiar with patients in our chronic outpatient facility resulted in the neglect of monthly and weekly nursing duties such as care plans, foot checks, medication checks, and lab reviews. Bare minimal care was provided due to staffing shortages and lack of resources. As a manager, my stress level has increased leading me to seek medication to deal with anxiety and stress to cope in the workplace. We have been unable to retain new staff due to high-stress levels and chaos leading them to seek less stressful jobs after completing orientation or within a year of being hired. This is not cost-effective, as it cost the organization approximately 10,000 to train new hires who are not staying.  The plan is to continue to use travelers to lessen the burden and advertise aggressively to entice new hires with retention and sign-on bonuses. 

My Organizations Response to Nursing Shortage

Our facility responded by offering competitive pay rates, sign-on bonuses, and retention bonuses. We have had several meetings with regional directors and upper management to explore the main causes of nurse shortages and burnout. Anonymous surveys were used also. The decision to use travelers reduced the nurse/patient ratios back to normal. Our facility also agreed to staff more nurses when available to reduce the load and stress level on the unit. By agreeing to staff more nurses on each shift, the staff nurses we had are willing to pick up more shifts because they were not exhausted physically and mentally at the end of a shift as before. Our facility also uses a call system where nurses can call a “code lavender” when stress levels are high on the unit. Clergy and staff respond with calming activities, lavender vials to promote relaxation, snacks, and offer prayer to those willing to accept.  

 

References

Beckett, C. D., & Melnyk, B. M. (2018). Evidence-Based Practice Competencies and the New EBP-C Credential: Keys to Achieving the Quadruple Aim in Health Care. Worldviews on evidence-based nursing15(6), 412–413. https://doi.org/10.1111/wvn.12335

Buerhaus, P. I. (2021). Current Nursing Shortages Could Have Long-Lasting Consequences: Time to Change Our Present Course. Nursing Economic$, 39(5), 247–250.

Rosseter, R. (2019). Nursing Shortage.  https://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Fact-Sheets/Nursing-Shortage

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