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The Cause and Hypothesis on Nursing Shortage Worldwide



The Cause and Hypothesis onNursing Shortage Worldwide


Modern technological developments have brought the medical studiesand researches into a new domain of innovations. Several aspects ofthe medical ream has gone beyond everyone`s expectations. However,several issues still arise from the medical perspective of socialtransformation, as for the case of registered nurses (RN) worldwide,as problems regarding nurse shortage begins to damage the economicview for every developing country.


According to Shacklock (2011), mentioned six reasons that influencesevery registered nurse`s intention to continue their career inmedicine: Work-family conflict perceptions of autonomy attachmentto work importance of working to the individualsupervisor-subordinate relationship and the interpersonalrelationships at work. These six major reasons have become the commonground for those nurses to either pursue their career or to changetheir career opportunities. Most of them even opt to choose a verynarrow and difficult career path ahead as they perceive theineffectuality of nursing career. Moreover, Shacklock stated that themost important key element for career pursuance is an individual`sattachment to his career, as in the case of registered nurses, theirself-attachment to medical practices will be the chief factor forthem to continue their career as a registered nurse (2011).

From the separate research conducted by MacKusick &amp Minick in2010, interviews were done to those nursing graduates who leave thenursing career for some other purposes. They mentioned that severalissues have been addressed concerning medical dilemma of currentnurse shortage linked with job dissatisfaction, an aging workforcecoupled with increased demands for registered nurses, as well asconflicts between members of the medical health team. A qualitativestudy to further explain the factors for leaving several nurses intheir medical career was established and provided several results foran increase in incidents of nurses leaving the medical nursing.MacKusick &amp Minick mentioned that an unfriendly workplace,leading to certain issues and conflicts among other professionalshave become prevalent for the past several years (2011). Moreover,several nurses have also experienced emotional distress related topatient care and multiple attitude behavior. Many nurses even go homeafter work crying not only about the loss of their patients but alsothe loss of autonomy and respect as medical professionals in theinstitutions in which they worked due to patients` attitudes. Anotherreason for them is fatigue and exhaustion as a registered nurse, asproof of why many of them are experiencing stress and tiredness ontheir everyday work. Hence, many nurse has a reason to quit theircareer path and look for a brighter future ahead.

Miles (2007) explained the threat of nurse shortage as a form ofhigher demand of nursing services at a lower supply of decent nursingjobs. Moreover, the quantity of registered nurse services have gonebelow that of a competitive-market level. The market demand for RNservices, not limiting to registered nurse in the hospitals, fails toclear at the competitive-equilibrium level as nurse shortage mayworsen in the future.

Lovell in 2006 mentioned in his report some possible solutions onnurse shortage, and the most attractive way of preventing nurses tochange their career path is through higher wages and added benefitsfor each one of them. Lovell mentioned that competent nurses have noadditional salary as their length of career increases, as varioushospitals mandates additional working hours for them without anyovertime pay for them (2006). Thus, professional nurses in manycountries intend to change their careers, one that can be of mostbenefit and added labor payment for each one of them. Moreover, mostof the nurse workforce overlook the critical connection betweensalary pay and nursing availabilities. Thus, increasing pay fornurses is the most direct way to draw both currently qualified andaspiring nurses to hospital employment (Lovell, 2006). By these, itwill allow a wide expansion of nurse education, ensuring an adequatesupply of nurses both now and in the future years to come.

To provide an in-depth discussion and analysis of the key factors andelements regarding nurse shortage, related guide questions andmethodologies must be established so as to provide a coherent way ofanalyzing the current issue being discussed in this paper. Here aresome of the proposed guide questions necessary for the issue of nurseshortage:

  1. What is evidenced-based medical practice?

  2. How do you‘do’evidence-based medical practice to assess the main viewpoints of nurses leaving the medical nursing career opportunities?

  3. Why is there an abrupt increase in the shortage of registered nurses?

  4. How will you describe the relationship between the RN and their patients?

  5. What are the debates or conflicts being portrayed by the issue of nurse shortage?

  6. Was there really a shortage of registered nurses worldwide at the present situation of the global community?

  7. Are there significant similarities being mentioned by various researches or interviews regarding the issue of nursing shortage?

  8. What are the implications of the problem regarding the lack of registered nurses all over the world? Will it trigger economic disputes among neighboring countries?

  9. What are the main grounds for leaving your career as a registered nurse?

  10. Are there state laws being implemented that caters the needs and problems of various professionals, not only those of registered nurse, for example?

  11. How will you require or encourage someone to return to the practice of nursing?

  12. Will the salary of the registered nurses increase in the future, considering several issues being addressed recently?

  13. How will nursing shortage affect the global career opportunities of nursing graduates in the future?


Nursing research today has been shaped by its historical roots, andpolitical economic and organization influences. The issue of nursingshortage is indeed one of the most threatening conflicts beingdiscussed today. Studies show that the major reason for an increasein change of career among professionals is their salary payments, forwhich it is already a big deal for everyone the amount of salary youearned through your career path as a nurse. The broader questions tobe debated further by the specialists are whether low wages are asubstantial cause of the RN shortage and, if so, whether unlawfulcollusion is the cause of those low wages. Moreover, one clearmessage portrays on the minds of the concerned people – nurses feela strong attachment to working, and to working as nurses. This is akey factor influencing their intentions to remain nursing. Managementmust build upon this foundation, enabling nurses to gain meaning andvalue from their work. Strategies that focus on this and otheridentified variables may improve hospital nurse retention rates.Similar provisions must also be considered so as to perform properlyand carefully the duties and responsibilities being given to thoseregistered nurses and held them the safety and care of theirpatients.


Lovell, V. (2006). Solving the Nursing Shortage through HigherWages. USA: Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

MacKusick, C. I., &amp Minick P. (2010). Why Are Nurses Leaving?Findings From an Initial Qualitative Study on Nursing Attrition.Medsurg Nursing, 19(6), 335-340.

Miles, J. The Nursing Shortage, Wage Information Sharing AmongCompeting Hospitals, and the Antitrust Laws: The Nurse WagesAntitrust Litigation. Houston Journal of Health Law &amp Policy,305–378.

Moule &amp Goodman. (2009). Research in Nursing. Sage. 2014,April 20. Retrieved fromhttp://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/25224_01_Moule_&amp_Goodman_Ch_01.pdf

Shacklock, H. K. (2011). The Intention to Continue Nursing: WorkVariables Affecting Three Nurse Generations in Australia. 2014, April20. Retrieved fromhttp://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/handle/10072/41341/71157_1.pdf?sequence=1

Stewart, D. (2006). Job Stress, and Health in Nurses: theMediating Role of Experience. New York: Cornell University.