The issue on shortage in the nursing profession has been increasing rapidly, especially in countries abroad such as the United States. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) the current and projected shortage indicators in the United States alone are alarming. Because of these data that were gathered, the organization has identified what exactly are the contributing factors that create an impact to the nursing shortage. Among these factors are primarily a shortage of nursing schools, rising age of the average registered nurses population caring for the patients in health care, increasing incidences of job dissatisfaction and burnout among others. Overall, the one aspect of health care that would suffer the most because of what the issue has brought about, are the patients and the care that is being rendered to them. What factor has the greatest income in patient care? That is nurse staffing. Numerous studies have been done to conclude that there is a very thick line of connection between adequate levels of registered nurse staffing and safe patient care.The nursing shortage, according to one article, does not affect the United States alone. Though the shortage in America has created opportunities for people in other countries like the Philippines, for example, this has also depleted the country’s nursing resources. The same goes for other nearby countries such as Canada. And it takes only a few moments to realize that not only the United States are clamoring for nurses, other developed countries are, as well. One could only imagine how drained of human resources a provider country, such as the Philippines, is. Though the facts may be devastating, calls for action have actually been underway. In the United States, for example, many statewide initiatives are being implemented to address both the shortage of registered nurses and nurse educators. Nursing colleges and universities are also forming strategic partnerships and seeking private support to help expand student capacity and strengthen the nursing workforce. In 2002, the Congress has enacted the Nurse Reinvestment Act to create new and expanded programs to encourage nurses to stay and join the profession. Several organizations and government officials directly involved have also implemented various programs as well as grant funding. The profession has also gone through national media campaigns, formation of nursing organizations that would specifically answer and deal with the impending issue. Philippines:Implications to the Nursing Profession The nursing shortage affects, first and foremost, the nursing profession’s reputation on giving quality and cost-effective nursing care to patients who need them. With the increasing incidence in job dissatisfaction and burnout, it is likely that quality of care has decreased and due to this decrease, subsequently more adverse effects would be suffered by patients thereby increasing their cost of stay and services in the hospital. Another concern is on the fact that in order to answer the shortage, especially in the Philippines, many educational institutions have opened up Schools of Nursing and tendency would be that the country would focus now on the quantity of nurses to be exported, rather than the quality, thus affecting not only our patient care system, but those in countries abroad as well.
The increase in migration has caused a “brain drain” for the Philippines, what with the best of our nurses leaving the country, only those who really desire to stay or those who were not the best among the lot would be left behind in the country, and these are the very people we entrust our care to? Though, in minute steps, our nursing organizations as well as the government, has been taking actions into their own hands to combat the situation our country is facing. Though the results may not be profound as of yet, hopefully, these will be evident in the future, so that in the near-future we will not only be exporters of good quality nurses but actually have nurses in our own health care system modeling the nursing profession as it should be.Implications to Nursing Ethics The nursing shortage brings with it job dissatisfaction and burnout as mentioned in the synthesis above. It is with job dissatisfaction and burnout that most often misdemeanors and negligence take place. And with these acts, along with other situational problems, the nursing ethics come into play. To avoid this from happening, curriculums being offered in nursing schools should include discussions on Nursing Ethics as well as how to prevent job dissatisfaction and how to overcome burnout. If nurses have been trained from the preparatory phase these essential weapons, then we would not be afraid of any more issues flooding the nursing profession. Implications to Professional Adjustment Because of the shortage, as mentioned above, the country has made efforts to increase the number of nursing schools. The problem is, one should also consider the availability of hospitals into which these very nursing students will practice. It is imperative, that nursing students have sufficient practice in the clinical setting as a staff nurse and other categories of nurses in the profession as well as have a smooth transition from preparatory phase to the actual phase in order to prevent grave errors on the part of the new nurses. It is also in this way that we get to hone our nurses to be the best and thereby the country can assure employers of its nurses who are sure to provide quality care.