Nursing Shortages and Turnovers

Nursing Shortages and Nursing Turnover.

In many heath care units, there have been cases of nursing shortages. This canbe attributed to various causes such as inadequate members of staff allocatedto a specific hospital and nurse turnovers. Nurse turnovers could be described as the process whereby a nurse leaves there job either voluntarily or involuntarily. Some of the causes of voluntary turnover include the choice by the nurse to leave the job due to incompetent skills. Also, the nurse may be relocating to different region hence the need to leave their job. Education enhancement may also be another cause. Promotion, job dissatisfaction and a change in career path are also among the factors that are likely to cause a voluntary turnover (Institute of Medicine, 2010). However, there are instances where the nurse is involuntarily forced to leave their job. Such instances include dismissal from work and terminal illnesses that force the nurse to quit.

Regardless of the causesof the turnover, the impact it causes to an organization is quite detrimental. One of the effects includes the shortage of nurses in various departments. This shortage may cause an increased workload to the existing nurses causing a strain at work. This may influence the job satisfaction hence causing an increased turnover rate. Also, turnovers deteriorate the patient outcomes. Thisis because there is an increased patient to nurse ratio that reduced the quality of care delivery.

Nurse Managers and leaders have a role in the management of the shortages resulting from these turnovers. Each plays a role in restoring efficient patient outcome irrespective of the roles. This essay outlines the various roles of the managers and leaders through a comparison and contrast scenario. Also, I states the various policies put in place to solve the problem of shortages and the possible sources of funding for the organization.


Comparison of the Roles of Nurse Managers and Leaders

The nursing leaders and managers collectively approach the issue of shortages through the institution of alternative approaches to ensure that the quality of care does not drop and that individuals receive maximum care from the existing workforce. They do this through the utilization of the existing workforce (Wiek, 2013). However, precaution is taken to ensure that the nurses are not overworked and that the patients receive quality care. The nurse leaders can, therefore, be said to have a role in creating a balance between the care standards and the employee standards.

It is therefore evident that as much as these two have different roles assigned to them in cases of such a challenge, the overall goal of adjusting their approaches to work is to ensure efficient running of the organization (Kallas, 2011). This includes appropriate coordination of activities within the existing workforce. They also ensure that there is an equitable distribution of work to the nurses to prevent workoverload to the remaining individuals. Their main aim is to enhance the job satisfaction to reduce the rate of turnover that may worsen the existing shortages.

They can, therefore,be described as the driving force of the nursing department hence they enhance stability in the system irrespective of the shortage challenges and the turnover rates.

Differences in the roles of the nurse managers and nurse leaders. In most cases, the roles of this two are mistakenly substituted for the other. However, there exist numerous differences in the roles that each of these two individuals performs. One major difference is the fact that, nurse leaders influence a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. In this case, the nurse leader has a role in influencing the existing members to enhance their services to obtain the common goal which is the improvement of patient outcomes. It can, therefore,be noted that the role of the nurse leader is goal oriented as it aims at achieving a specific goal. On the contrary, the nurse managers are mainly task oriented (Arnold, 20013). They coordinate various activities at the bedside level to ensure that all the patient care activities are accomplished. Some of the various activities that nurse managers coordinate is ensuring that there is effective teamwork in the organization, ensuring that the patient receives quality care and the establishment of a secure patient environment.

Another difference that occurs in the role of the managers and the leaders is the orientation of the roles. The nurse leader is future-oriented. This includes the development of policies that may restore the staffing levels of the organization. In this aspect, the nurse leader carries out roles such as the implementation of policies to better the nursing profession. One policy that could be developed in the case of increased turnover rates is the hiring of foreign-trained nurses. The nurse leader also pushes for new models of the patient to be developed. As much as the nurse manager may be in charge of the implementation of the new policies and models, the nurse leader is responsible for the institution of the ideas (Huber, 2014). On the other hand, the nurse manager is oriented to the present condition. He or she finds the various ways to adapt to the existing shortages. Various roles carried out include the changingof nursing care delivery models. This includes choosing models that suit the current staffing levels. Another role may include the motivation of the existing staff to ensure there is continuity in health care delivery.

Another difference in the roles that the manager and the leader performs is the fact that managers are indebted to institute various emergency options in case of shortages. This includes aspects such calling the nurses on the day off incase to cover the shortages experienced due to the turnovers. Managers are therefore burdened with the roles to implement tough decisions that are likely able to face rejection from the staff nurses. However, they still have to make the choices to enhance the smooth running of the organization.

It should, however,be noted that none of the two is superior to the other. For efficient running of the organization after a turnover of nurses, there is the need for the collaboration between the two bodies. The leader will institute various policies to ensure achievement of the goals of the health care while the nurse manager will put in place various principles to aid in the present shortage. The restoration of quality healthcare provision is, therefore, a collaboration between the nursing manager and the nurse leader.

Funding of the policies to curb nursing shortages.Nursing shortages have been proven to be detrimental to the quality of care given to the patients. It is therefore important to come up with various nursing policies that can rectify the problem. One of the policies that canbe put in place is the recruitment of more nurses to replace those who leave. Another way is through the training of more nursing students to ensure that the working force has been reinstituted. However, to ensure the success of these policies, there need to be funding from various bodies to enhance the action.

One such body that could offer to fundto the project is the health resource s and services administration (HRSA). This organization offers various grantsin support of solving the nursing shortages. Some of the grants offered include the advanced education nursing grants. Thisis grants offered to the nursing training institutions to enhance the quality of nursing practice through the advancement of the education levels of the nurses.

Another grant offered by the organization is the nurse education and retention grants. These grants have the role of strengthening the education programs at the various nursing institutions which may include nursing schools and healthcare units. The grants alsoensure that nursing education is offered to the students. Another way through which the organization offers grants is through the cancellation of various student loans. However, this is done to students who are willing to offer teaching services to any given nursing school. This kind of grants is referred to as nurse faculty grants. The organization may also decide to cancel loans for nursing students who agree to offer nursing services to areas reported to be having a shortage in the number of nurses. All these grants have an aim of restoring the staffing levels of a health facility through training f nursing personnel or recruiting a nursing workforce.





Arnold, H. D. (2013). The affordable care act and international recruitment and migration ofnursing professionals. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 20(2).

Huber, Diane. (2014). Leadership and Nursing Care Management, 5th Edition. [VitalSourceBookshelf Online]. Retrieved July 28, 2016, from

Institute of Medicine (2010). The future of nursing report: Leading change, advancing health.Retrieved from

Kallas, K. D. (2011). Profile of an excellent nurse manager. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Wieck, K. L. (2013). Faculty for the millennium: changes needed to attract the emerging workforce into nursing. [Electronic Version]” Journal of Nursing Education

(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)