Social justice in healthcare

Social justice in healthcare


In any healthcare setting, nurses are considered as front liners. According to the American Nurse Association report (2011), the number of registered nurse in the country is approximate 3.1 million.  The demand for registered nurses in hospitals and community health centers in the United States continue to grow despite this number. In U.S, one of the major factor causing nurses shortage is the inability to increase the enrollment of students undertaking nursing studies because of the scarcity of nursing school faculty. The shortage of nurses is associated with a negative health outcome. The mortality rate increase, as well as adverse effects after surgery, are some of the negative health outcome related to the shortage of nurses in the United States and other parts of the world. The demand for nurses in the United States has continued to increase over the years because of increase in the aging population. Senior citizens are associated with various health complication. According to the CDC data (2013), senior citizen with more than 65 years in the country is affected by one or more chronic illness. Nurses are therefore required to provide the needed primary, secondary and tertiary care, and the number of nurses available to provide the care is significantly low.

In the United States, the demand for nurses according to projection is expected to increase by the year 2020. Various strategies need to be employed to ensure that both short term and long term plans are put in place. The demand for nurses in the country has affected equitable and affordable access to medical and healthcare services in the country. The implementation of the short term and long term plans and strategies will facilitate the effective and efficient provision of services carried out by nurses in the country.


Establishing uniform laws

The nurse workforce represents primary care variable supply. The uniform scope of practice is some of the measures that need to be put in place to ensure that nurses among other healthcare professionals can practice in efficient and effective manner.  According to Poghosyan et al. (2012), the payment policies also need to be adjusted to ensure that nurses and other healthcare professionals can provide services in an appropriate manner. Additionally, hospitals need also to provide a better working environment for nurses among other healthcare professionals so that they can be motivated to provide resources in an effective and efficient manner. Utilization of the nurse workforce to full capacity is very important in meeting the increased demand for nurses. Poghosyan et al. (2012), view that uniform  NP SOP laws, as well as regulation, are essential to enable nurses to practice without various types of restriction on them. This is key in ensuring consistency in the provision of care of high quality across all the states.

Educating more nurses via online platforms

Nursing is one of the most regulated professional. Establishing new nursing schools is not easy. It would take years to build enough nursing schools as well and establish educators to combat the demand for nurses in the country.Humphries et al, (2014) view that , although this can be employed as a long-term strategy, immediate measures need to be put in place. Most nursing schools that are accredited and highly regarded offer nursing online nursing programs. The clinical portion of the program is completed locally. Additionally, the academic portion of the program is accomplished online(Humphries et al., 2014). These nursing schools can structure the programs in such a way that the theoretical and practical basis of the program is well taken into consideration. Theoretical and clinical knowledge in nursing professional is key to enable efficient and effective provision of high-quality healthcare services. Employment of this strategy by nursing schools will enable quick and efficient training of nurses to meet the increasing demand in the country. The time required to train nurses effectively will be reduced significantly, and fewer educators will be required to fully train nurses. More students will be able to enroll in nursing schools because the program is relatively cheap. Most of the nurse’s online programs have no wait list, and therefore more students will be enrolled in these programs.

Teaching more nurse educators

The capacity to expand more nursing programs in the United States is limited by the availability of fewer nurse educators. The demand for nurses in the country can be combated through the increase in some educators to ensure that more students can enroll in various nursing schools in the country(Bodenheimer, & Smith, 2013). This can be accomplished through promoting the retired nurses with experience to become educators and trainers especially in the clinical portion of the nursing programs. The combination of private and public incentives as well as the partnerships is needed to teach more nurse educators. It is a long-term strategy and therefore, plans needed to be put in place as well as ways to implement the strategy in combating the issues shortly.

Educational strategies

In The United States, most hospitals have begun to implement the educational strategies in an attempt to address the shortage of nurses in this institution. The strategies employed by these hospitals include offering the partnership with the nursing schools. It is accomplished to ensure that nurses who are not fully trained as well as students in internship acquire the needed knowledge(Fodeman, & Factor, 2015). The fully trained nurses and interns are therefore able to carry out their duties effectively thus addressing the shortage issues. It is a short-term strategy. Other major hospitals in the country have also established their nursing school to educate and train nursing students from colleges in an attempt to address the shortage. Other strategies employed by hospitals include subsidizing salaries as well as providing education and advancing knowledge of the nurses to enhance the quality provision of medical and healthcare services in these hospitals. According toFodeman, & Factor, (2015) rotational among nurses is also carried out in some of the hospitals. It is accomplished to ensure that nurses gain experience in different departments within the hospitals for efficient and effective utilization of services. Nurses from one department can be able to provide services in other departments such as emergency department where the shortage is very high to ensure that all the healthcare and medical services with the hospital are accomplished in an effective and efficient manner.

Provision of grants to nursing schools

Most states have begun to grant the needed capital in nursing schools to ensure that hospitals can acquire the needed equipment and material to offer nursing educations. With the grant, nursing schools can hire more educators in an attempt to increase the number of students enrolling in various nursing schools in the country(Young, Acord, Schuler, & Hansen, 2014). Additionally, it enables installation of the needed equipment with the aim of facilitating adequate training of students. In addition to that, potential students won’t have to wait for so long for approval to join nursing schools. One of the advantages is that the strategy will enable promotion and increase in the number of nursing schools and colleges within the country. The grant is normally provided by States in an attempt to enhance the provision of healthcare services within the country.

Alteration of nursing laws

The government should establish laws aimed at motivating nurse from other countries to enter the country. This includes the provision of Nurse Faculty Loan program as well as nurse scholarship programs(Young, Acord, Schuler, & Hansen, 2014). It is an immediate or short-term plan to ensure that the demand for nurses in the country is met through employing nurses from other countries. It has been accomplished before in other countries such Saudi Arabia and other middle-class countries to enhance the effective and efficient provision of medical and healthcare services with the country(Young, Acord, Schuler, & Hansen, 2014). It would take years and longer time to train more nurses and therefore short-term objective include employing nurses from other countries. Other incentives that can be provided by the government include housing and transport allowances.


In the United States, the healthcare industry has grown significantly, and the demand for healthcare services in different states has continued to increase.  The shortage of nurses has continued to affect equity in access and affordable care in the country. Various measures need to be put in place to ensure continued access to medical and healthcare services in the country. Uniform regulation of nursing practice across the different state is key in ensuring high-quality care provision. Provision of the online nursing program will facilitate an increase in enrollment of the student in various nursing programs. Educating the educators and provision of the grant to medical school are also some of the strategies that need to be put in place. The government can also provide incentive aimed at obtaining and hiring nurses from other countries.



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Fodeman, J., & Factor, P. (2015). Solutions to the Primary Care Physician Shortage. The American Journal Of Medicine, 128(8), 800-801.

Humphries, N., Morgan, K., Catherine Conry, M., McGowan, Y., Montgomery, A., & McGee, H. (2014). Quality of care and health professional burnout: narrative literature review. International Journal Of Health Care Quality Assurance, 27(4), 293-307.

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Poghosyan, L., Lucero, R., Rauch, L., & Berkowitz, B. (2012). Nurse practitioner workforce: A substantial supply of primary care providers. Nursing Economics, 30(5), 268-74, 294. Retrieved from

Young, S., Acord, L., Schuler, S., & Hansen, J. (2014). Addressing the Community/Public Health Nursing Shortage through a Multifaceted Regional Approach. Public Health Nursing, 31(6), 566-573.