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Solutions for the Current Nursing Shortage

Solutions for the Current Nursing Shortage

Stephanie Larkin |

Creating healthy work environments

Healthy work environments are important in every field, but more so in the hospital or clinic setting where patients are incapacitated with a variety of ailments, many of which are contagious. The strains of viruses and bacteria are often mutating faster than medical researchers can create designer drugs. In addition to physical ailments, the stress of caring for injured, ill or dying patients will take a heavy emotional toll on nurses. Creating better ways of keeping nurses healthy both mentally and physically helps to keep the nursing force strong and capable.

Changing roles for advanced practice nurses

The nursing shortage can also be alleviated by utilizing practical nurses. Already in the system, these nurses’ skills could be further enhanced by improving their education level through adult education, continuing education and seminars. Still better utilization could be made of existing nurses and staff who are interested in advancing their careers in nursing. Also, as more duties are being picked up by staff with intermediate levels of training, registered nurses are able to perform more of the teaching, administrative and more highly skilled nursing tasks.

Partnerships with nursing schools

Partnerships with nursing schools can take many different forms, each of which could be valuable in reducing the growing shortage of nurses. Assistance in replacing nursing school faculty is of key importance so that nursing classes can continue to be staffed adequately. Provision of grants, loans and scholarships in order to attend educational classes in nursing will allow students who would otherwise not be able to afford nursing school to attend. Adult education classes at nursing schools allow for an increased level of graduates in nursing. Using student nurses effectively could increase nursing caregivers on the job. By covering educational costs in return for a service commitment by graduate nurses is another way to increase the number of nursing staff in the field.

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