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The main aim of this article was to address the shortage of nurses in the US health care system. The article highlights how social factors and government policy have impacted on the recruitment of nurses. To rationalize for the decrease in number of nurses, Fox and Abrahamson (2009) argue that the differences in birthrates between the baby-boomers generation and the X generation have created a nurses deficit.
Fox and Abrahamson (2009) assert that the move from primary nursing training in hospitals to colleges and universities has reduced the number of people who venture into the nursing profession. Further, career diversification has impacting negatively on the nurse staffing. The article also highlights that the decrease in number of nurses can be attributed to the fact that the nursing profession is stressful. Further, working in shifts is also a major deterrence in this profession.
Fox and Abrahamson (2009) argue that nurse wages keep fluctuating with the economy and as a result, the returns and other financial allowances that nurses get are not enough to cater for their daily needs. This leads to an exit from this profession as nurses’ venture into other more prospective jobs. Another aspect that has contributed to low nurse staffing revolves around the fact that most hospitals are concerned with providing adequate but not quality services thus, they end up employing fewer nurses.
Fox and Abrahamson (2009) conclude that the US government needs to come up with new policies that will ensure high levels of nurse staffing and consequently high quality services. Such policies include the introduction of a regulatory body that will monitor the performance of nurses and the nurse patient ratios.
Fox, R., & Abrahamson, K. (2009). A Critical Examination of the U.S. Nursing Shortage: Contributing Factors, Public Policy Implications, Nursing Forum, 44 (4), 235-244.
In reaction to this article, I think Fox and Abrahamson have comprehensively covered all the aspects that contribute to the shortage of nurses in US. As a registered nurse, I feel as though the article was able to highlight some of my grievances with referencing to the stressful working conditions and the minimum wages. This becomes more real when I relate the effects on the economic crisis to what I have to part with at the end of the month.
As a patient, the data highlighted by Fox and Abrahamson with reference to the compromised health care that is attributed to shortages of nurses threatens my safety and the quality of health care that I have access to. I therefore support Fox and Abrahamson in advocating for a healthcare service that is regulated and monitored in order to ensure that nurse staffing is improved.
Based on my experience as a nurse and a patient, I think that the government can come up with incentive programs that will boost nurses’ retention therefore, enhancing the health care system. Further, there is a dire need to conduct research that quantifies the extent of the nurses’ shortage in order to come up with rational solutions (Timofeeva, 2002).
As highlighted in the article, the shortage of nurses can also be attributed to social factors. Therefore, I will advocate for individuals to venture into the nursing profession. I will also advocate for the formulation of government policies that ensure adequate access to facilities for nursing training in colleges and universities in order to enroll more people into the nursing sector. Lastly, I will advocate for the increase in nurse wages and improved working conditions to ensure high retention rates.
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