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Shortage of Nurses in the Health Care Setting


Nursing continues to experience shortages as a result of a lack of the qualified educators, high income, as well as unequal employees distribution. Because of the shortage, nurses are frequently required to work long hours under particularly stressful conditions, which can lead to fatigue, injury, in addition to job dissatisfaction. Nurses who are suffering in these environments are more probable to make mistakes in addition to make medical errors. Patient excellence might suffer as a result, leading to a variety of avoidable complications such as medication errors, emergency room overcrowding, as well as, additional concerning, increased mortality rates. This research intends to find the causing factors to the shortage of nurses, the effects, and solutions to the shortage. “A nursing shortage – a prospect of global and local policies” Marć, et al., (2019) and “Nurse practitioners: A solution to America’s primary care crisis” (Buerhaus, et al., (2018) will be articles to be reviewed in my research.

Discussion on empirical literature

The nursing shortage is a problem that is felt all over the world. It is a problem that, if not addressed, might have serious consequences for the provision of high-quality health care. Recognizing why nurses leave their jobs or leave the profession is critical if efforts to increase retention are to be successful. In both articles about the nursing shortage emphasizes that it is not the same as in the past. Quantities of contributing factors remain constant, including women having more career options. The aging of the nurses, general staffing shortages throughout auxiliary professions as well as support labor, in addition to the universal nature of this shortage are prominent ones from the previous two shortages. Furthermore, fundamental changes with how patients are treated for from a manage care environment are exacerbating the shortage. With shorter hospital stays as well as more acute care in the ambulatory in addition to home settings, there is an unmet need for knowledgeable, highly skilled nurses. A arithmetical analysis may reveal sufficient current figures; however the expertise might just be the source of the problem (Buerhaus, et al., 2018)

There have been cases of nurses leaving the field without exact replacement of the exiting number. This increases the demand for current performing nurses. The currently performing nurses end up being allocated with many patients to cover for the shortages. It, therefore, increases the chances of low level of job, satisfaction and more stress, with such factors driving away from the nurses away from the provision. This is led by the need for self manageability and flexibility from the nurses that make them seek elsewhere (Marc, et al., 2019)

People are living much longer due to the development in modern medical care than before. This provides for more need in care as they age. This has resulted in to increase in the number of people in need of spiritual care with advancement in technology and nurses who can understand and perform with advanced technology. The need for more nurses is created in training with new technology to handle the large number of people evolving with technology development (Marc, et al., 2019)


Both articles comprise and distribute information based on previous research on their respective concerns. They both include a large number of primary sources, peer-reviewed articles, and secondary sources.

The articles reviewed within that paper demonstrate how a lack of adequate staffing leads to poor patient outcomes. In the Buerhaus et al., 2018, United States Spiritual care nurses are understaffed in the hospital. Quantitative the number of retiring nurses exceeds the number of new nurses recruited. Nurses suffer from inefficiency and fatigue as a result of understaffing. And in the article Marc and colleagues, 2019, USA Hospitals have a shortage of nurses. Qualitative nurses are looking for work flexibility elsewhere, which is causing understaffing. The desire for a flexible nursing environment results in a small number of staff to handle a large number of patients (Marc, et al., 2019)

Hospital nurse understaffing on spiritual care, by Buerhaus, et al.,

As per Buerhaus, et al., 2018, even though spiritual care is a fundamental component of very holistic nursing, nurses’ spiritual care understanding as well as abilities are frequently insufficient to meet patients’ spiritual care needs. As a result, nurses are in desperate need of the appropriate training to improve their capability to provide spiritual care to patients. This study enrolled 92 nurses through a voluntary sign-up process at a cancer diagnosis hospital within a single province. Using a coin toss, the nurses were separated into two main groups: the reading group (45 populace) plus the control (wait-listed) group (47 populace). Relying on their regular nursing education, the study group established one spiritual care group training assembly every 6 months; this training primarily consisted of expert lectures, cluster interventions, clinical practice, as well as case sharing. For like 12 months, the control group attended monthly nursing tutoring sessions prearranged through the hospital.

A spiritual care learning protocol for nursing staff based onto the concept of the mutual growth through patients improves the spiritual well enough plus spiritual care qualifications of nurses.

Nurse understaffing in hospitals by Marc, et al.,

In the study of Marc, et al., 2019 general growth changes have resulted in a systematic enhance during the old population and a decrease in births, both of which have had an impact on health policy in addition to healthcare systems within various countries. The transitions are required into global health care as a result of both processes. Nursing care, which has been hit by a human resources disaster, is a strategic area in this circumstance (Marc, et al., 2019)

This article is focusing on national listings as well as strategic documents for the nursing policy within Poland, such as Increasing average age of the nurses as well as midwives prepared via the Polish Main Council of Nurses also Midwives, as well as big data, international reports, as well as a literature review on medical in addition to nursing challenges.

The nursing department can turn current nurses into recruitment agents (Buerhaus, 2018). The more a nurse is exposed to the career, improves the understanding of nursing requirements, and using them as recruiters will provide the best necessity in health care provision.

In conclusion, spiritual care in nursing is an essential requirement to saving lives. Under-staffing in the field results in dissatisfaction with the patient and fatigue to nurses. However, measures such as advancement in technology and long-term training of nurses will increase the number of nursing staff. Incentives can also be applied in the nursing department to lure more people into nursing thus increasing the number of staff.

Database search Date of search Search items and strategy Years No. of sources found
Google scholar 20/02/2022 Hospital nurse understaffing on spiritual care 2018-2022 1000
Google scholar 20/02/2022 Nurse understaffing in hospitals 2018-2022 1100

Study Table of Literature Summary

Author, year, and Country Purpose Study design Results Findings Comments
Buerhaus et al, 2018, USA Hospital nurse understaffing on spiritual care Quantitative Number of retiring nurses higher than the recruiting of new nurses Understaffing leads to inefficiency and fatigue to nurses Further study can be conducted to get a deeper understanding of the understaffing
Marc et al, 2019, USA Nurse understaffing in hospitals Qualitative Nurses are seeking work flexibility elsewhere leading to understaffing Seeking of flexible nursing environment lead to low number of staff to handle a large number of patients Electronic sources of data in hospitals can provide information on nationwide nurse understaffing


Buerhaus, P. (2018). Nurse practitioners: A solution to America’s primary care crisis. American Enterprise Institute, 1-30.

Marć, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzyńska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2019). A nursing shortage–a prospect of global and local policies. International nursing review66(1), 9-16.


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