The nursing shortage is not only ACUTE given the climate of COVID, but it has been a CHRONIC condition in the healthcare field for a long time. It’s getting worse and the need for nurses continues to grow significantly every year.
The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) is trying to control the healthcare system by limiting the number of enrollments in private nursing programs despite the authority to do so. Currently, California programs are turning away 25,000 eligible nursing students. And 25,000 nurses entering the workforce could make a significant difference in the shortage we’re seeing, especially amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Another contributing factor to the shortage of nurses is the considerable number that are 55 years or older and nearing or entering retirement. Nursing is a very physically and mentally demanding career. Coupled with the demands of COVID-19, we are starting to see many nurses over 50 retire early due to their high risk for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed increased strain on the nurses and all healthcare staff forcing labor unions to get involved. Complaints of nurses working full shifts without rest and meal breaks, inadequate staffing, lack of proper PPE, and equipment continue to be an issue. Nurses going on strike make it more difficult to deal with surges of COVID patients, as well as others who come in for routine injuries like car accidents, heart attacks, or a child needing stitches. Which also adds to the shortage issue.
There are stories of burnout and high turnover all across the country. How long will nurses be able to put up with the strain? At the end of the day, sometimes enough is enough. If nurses burn out, they’ll quit. What can companies do to retain their employees and promote happiness and enjoyment while in crisis? How do we find the strength to keep going in this state of emergency? How do we fix this continuous shortage cycle?
Share your thoughts below on ways companies can help support nurses during the shortage crisis. Check out the original article here.