The Nursing profession is a highly respected profession all over the world. It is the nurses who take care of patients, encourage them and even motivate them at times when they are physically in pain and emotionally drained out. Nurses also help in conducting clinical research and trials.
Who are included in Nursing Profession?
Nursing professions include the following professionals.
- Registered Nurses (RN)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
- Specialties of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- Licensed Professional Nurse (LPN)
- Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD Health Data 2013, in 2011, there were 11.1 nurses per 1,000 people in the United States, compared to an average of 8.7 nurses per 1,000 people across the world’s most economically developed nations.
Though the United States has the largest nursing workforce in the world, the available nurse force is less and aging and not able to keep up with the demand of work. The nursing schools have limited capacity to train nurses. The demand for Nurses in the United States has been increasing exponentially during the recent years.
Reasons for Increased Demand for Nurses
The increase in demand for nurses is due to many reasons. It is due to aging population, rising rate of chronic and lifestyle diseases and other socio-economic factors.
According to Ortman, et al., “An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States,” May 2014- While today less than 14 percent of U.S. residents are over the age of 65, by 2030, more than 20 percent are expected to be in that age group, an increase of more than 6 percentage points.
In recent times, with medical interventions and availability of medicines and treatments, life expectancy has increased. This has resulted in an increased number of aging populations. Today there are more people with health insurance.
Here is a list of reasons.
- Increased number of aging population
- Increased number of chronically ill patients
- Increased incidence of life-threatening illnesses
Professional Challenges faced by Nurses
Nursing is a demanding job, and they face many problems in the workplace, mainly hospitals. The challenges are as follows.
- Caring for sicker patients
- Tight budgets
- Physical pressures
- Psychological pressures
- Pressure of learning new technologies
- Infrequent and unpredictable wage increases
- Extreme stress
There is a greater incidence of patients admitted for shorter stays in hospitals. This result in increasing the intensity of nursing care provided for severe health conditions.
Reasons for Shortage of nurses
Nursing schools are unable to meet the demand as they lack adequate faculty and training facilities and clinical placement sites to train an adequate number of students to meet the increasing demand.
Despite the high numbers of applicants to nursing schools for a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) and Associate’s degree in nursing (ADN/ASN) programs aren’t able to meet the demand resulting in rejection of many qualified applicants.
In the past, nursing was traditionally a female occupation. It was one of the few fields open to them. Today, there are many other career opportunities available and women are free to choose other fields to pursue and may not opt for nursing.
There also is a shortage of educators in the nursing field which limits the capacity of the training schools.
States should encourage educators by conducting awareness programs and focusing on grants and scholarships. Awareness campaigns organized for middle and high-school students can help to increase the number of applicants for nursing schools.These steps can help to increase the supply of nurses in the future.