As post-pandemic life begins to get back to normal for most people, a growing healthcare staffing shortage has experts concerned. The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the gaps in healthcare services and renewed the call for more bedside nurses. According to the American Nursing Association, it is projected that 1.1 million nurses are required to replace retiring nurses in the U.S. by 2022. Across the world, we would need more than 13 million new nurses to cover the shortfall.
The post-pandemic nurse staffing shortage is a global phenomenon. In the United States, the nursing shortage is exacerbated by an aging population and the Affordable Care Act, which has led to an increase in the demand for nurses. The nursing shortage has also led to a shortfall of specialized nurses, such as those who specialize in critical care, surgery, and urodynamics.
The specialized nursing shortage is especially concerning because the population is aging, and more people are living with chronic conditions. This means that there is a greater demand for nurses with specialized training. However, there is a limited supply of nurses with the necessary training and experience to fulfil roles in certain medical fields. This staffing shortage is expected to continue in the future as more of the population reaches retirement age.
How Does a Nursing Shortage Affect Patient Care?
The nursing shortage has also been linked to an increase in the number of errors made by nurses. A study of over 3,000 nurses in the United States found that those who worked in hospitals that were understaffed were more likely to make errors than those who worked in hospitals that were properly staffed.
The nursing shortage has also had a negative impact on the quality of patient care. In a study of over 1,000 hospitals in the United States, it was found that those with a higher nurse-to-patient ratio had lower rates of patient satisfaction. The study also found that the nursing shortage was responsible for an estimated decrease in patient satisfaction in the United States in 2006.
The nursing shortage has also led to an increase in the number of patients who are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge. In a study of over 30,000 hospitals in the United States, it was found that for every 10% increase in the number of patients, there was a 1.5% increase in the readmission rate.
What is Causing the Nursing Shortage?
The nursing shortage is a complex issue with many contributing factors. The aging population is one factor, as the demand for health care services increases as people live longer. The retirement of baby boomers from the nursing workforce is another factor, as there are not enough younger nurses to replace them. The high cost of education is also playing a role, as nursing schools are struggling to keep up with the demand for qualified nurses. The low pay, heavy workload, and high stress of the nursing profession are also contributing factors.
The Affordable Care Act has played a role as well, as it has resulted in more people having health insurance and thus needing more access to care. The healthcare staffing shortage is a serious issue that is affecting the quality of patient care. Hospitals are struggling to staff their units with proficient nurses and are often forced to ration care. This can lead to longer wait times, increased stress levels for nurses, and ultimately lower quality of care for patients.
What Effect Will the Nursing Shortage Have on Specialized Care?
The nursing shortage is a real and pressing problem in the United States. And if more nurses don’t enter healthcare by 2025, it could be a disaster, specifically for specialized services. Nurses don’t become specialized in fields such as urodynamics right out of nursing school. It takes years of training and task repetition to perfect and master their craft. The shortage of new nurses entering the profession could have a major impact on the quality of patient care, preventing experienced nurses from moving into specialized care, which is the type of care only qualified, proficient nurses can provide.
Specialized care is any type of care that requires a high level of training and experience. This includes care for critically ill patients, those with chronic conditions, and those who require surgery. The staffing shortage could make it difficult for hospitals to train and move veteran nurses into these types of units. This could lead to longer wait times for care, and a higher risk of complications from poorly trained nurses.
Nursing Shortage Impact on Urodynamic Nursing
The nursing shortage is a global problem that is expected to worsen in coming years, potentially causing a catastrophic shortage of urodynamic nurses. The nursing profession is projected to grow by only 1% annually, while the demand for nurses is expected to grow by 7% annually. This shortage of healthcare staffing has a direct impact on the care of patients with urological conditions.
A urodynamic nurse is one who specializes on the care of patients with urological conditions. They are experts in the use of urodynamic equipment and techniques, and are able to provide expert, compassionate care to patients with a wide range of urological conditions.
The post-pandemic nurse staffing shortage has a direct impact on urodynamic nursing. With fewer nurses available to care for patients with urological conditions, the quality of care suffers. Urodynamic nurses are often overworked and understaffed, which can lead to burnout and some leaving the profession altogether. In addition, the nursing shortage means that there are fewer urodynamic nurses available to teach other nurses and medical students how to care for patients with urological conditions.
The nursing shortage is a global problem, but it is especially acute in the United States. In 2016, there were more than 1.2 million vacant nursing positions in the United States. This number is expected to grow to more than 2 million by 2025. The shortage, especially in the United States, is expected to have a significant impact on the quality of specialized care.
Being a urodynamics nurse requires extensive training and a ton of clinical repetition before becoming proficient. If a urodynamics position has high turnover, it is almost impossible to keep urodynamics throughput intact because oftentimes, no one else can do the procedures. If you were to bring a new nurse in, it would take months to get to proficiency. And hiring someone that is already proficient is almost impossible because the skill is so niche it can't be readily found in the marketplace.
While the nursing shortage has a direct impact on all types of nursing, with fewer nurses available to care for patients with urological conditions, wait times for care could increase and services could be denied to those most in need. This lack of education and training can have a ripple effect on the quality of care for other patients, as nurses will have to change positions in order to shore up specialized staffing shortages.
How to Solve the Nurse Staffing Shortage
According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, the average age of registered nurses surveyed was 52 years old, which is up from 51 years of age in 2017. Nurses who are 65 or older make up the largest age demographic and represented 19 percent of the nurses in 2020, a significant jump from the 14.6 percent in 2017 and the 4.4 percent in 2013. The survey also found that men represent 9.4 percent of registered nurses, a slight increase from 9.1 percent in 2017, 8 percent in 2015, and 6.6 percent in 2013.
The increasing percentage of aging registered nurses is concerning, given that many of these nurses will seek retirement soon or may leave the profession due to their own medical issues. Globally, 4.7 million nurses are expected to retire by the year 2030. When you combine this statistic with the current severe nursing shortage and aging Boomer demographic, it means that the world will need approximately 10.6 million new nurses by 2030.
BLS data indicates that demand in nursing fields which include nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners will grow by 45 percent between 2020 to 2030. Although the data doesn’t specify job growth for specialized nurses, the numbers are indicative that there will be even more of a demand for highly skilled nurses trained in specialized medicine.
One way to address the nursing shortage is to attract more people to the profession. This could be done through targeted marketing and outreach efforts that demonstrates the important, rewarding work that nurses do. It could also involve changing the way that nursing is taught, making the profession more attractive to prospective students. For example, some nursing schools are now offering accelerated programs that allow students to earn their degree in as little as 15 months.
Another way to ease the nursing shortage is to retain the nurses we already have. This could be done by offering competitive salaries and benefits, and by creating a work environment that is supportive and positive. It’s also important to provide opportunities for nurses to grow and advance in their careers.
The nursing shortage is a serious problem that requires a multi-pronged approach to solve. By attracting more people to the profession and retaining the nurses we already have, we can begin to address the shortage and ensure that patients continue to receive the care they need.
Until solutions are enacted to enroll more nursing students, nurse staffing agencies must fill the void with experienced, well-trained nurses that are available on-demand to shore up nursing shortages.
BHN provides pelvic health specialist nurses that are experts in urodynamics. Urodynamics is our speciality. If you need assistance with urodynamics, we can provide you with a solution. Please reach out to us if you would like to know more.