January 20, 2021

Nursing Shortages

 

Conservative estimates indicate that close to 700 people die from preventable errors in their medical treatment, or complications from those mistakes every year. This put the annual death toll from healthcare workers’ errors somewhere between 250,000 and 400,000 deaths per year, making death due to avoidable medical blunders potentially the third leading cause of loss of life in the entire country.

Since the spread of COVID-19, matters have only gotten worse.

Patients must be protected, and to do so, it is imperative that we adequately staff our healthcare facilities with safe and effective nurses—both in skill and in numbers.

In 49 states, there is no limit to the number of patients a nurse can be ordered to care for at one time. This lack of regulation does nothing but exacerbate the safety crisis and contribute to burnout among nurses. In November 2020, North Dakota and Montana hospitals began allowing COVID-infected, asymptomatic nurses to continue working with COVID patients, while the University of Utah Hospital’s ICU was forced to resort to up to 36-hour shifts for their employees.

Safe staffing levels help improve patient outcomes while increasing nurses’ job satisfaction. Without proper action, nurses will be forced to perform under even greater stress, and practicing in these high pressure environments will make nurses more prone to making mistakes.

The long hours and stressful conditions that nurses are subjected to has turned many potential young nurses away from the field, and with nurses of the Baby Boom generation beginning to retire en masse, a daunting deficit of nurses appears to be upon us. Facing dwindling health in light of older age, paired with the rampant heart disease that came along with the 1950s’ dietary shift to fast, processed foods, many baby boomers are now requiring treatment for cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes among other illnesses.

These patients require care, yet a large percentage of the nursing population serving this demographic—nearly one-third of the nursing workforce—fall within the same demographic themselves, with many of the same health maladies. With an entire generation of nurses approaching retirement—some of whom will be back in healthcare facilities again soon, but as patients themselves—there are nearly a million, and counting, nursing roles that need to be filled in healthcare departments across the country.

There are more Americans now over the age of 65 than at any other time in our country’s history, and the population of senior citizens is only expected to grow. By 2030, it is predicted that there will be a 75% increase in our senior citizen population. When nearly 80% of senior citizens have at least one chronic condition, and 68% have at least two, it goes without saying that a herculean healthcare effort will be needed to treat this large and vulnerable population.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a demand for registered nurses is expected to increase by 16 percent from 2014 to 2024. This heightened demand means more opportunities for healthcare professionals, but the question remains as to whether enough people in the U.S. want to seize them and embark on a career in nursing.

In the midst of a pandemic, when infection rates are at an all-time high, the availability of nurses is staggeringly low. Hiring a full staff of nurses to ensure a standard of quality care can understandably pose a challenge, but when the wellbeing of people—both patients’ and nurses’—is on the line, it’s crucial to act right away.

With over two decades of international recruitment experience, our mission at Interstaff is to assist hospitals in the hiring process by sourcing accredited nurses and handling VISA sponsorships for healthcare professionals from abroad. Our nurses arrive in the U.S. ready to work with an Interstaff-sponsored VISA, a passed NCLEX exam, and an unrestricted RN license.

We do more than just save you money, time, and energy on staffing. We are committed to providing you with the best, most skilled nurses in the world, with various specialties. Primarily from the Philippines, Jamaica, Africa, and Puerto Rico, the nurses we recruit are fully committed to both long and short-term solutions for your department. Let us take care of your staffing, so you can take care of your patients.