6 Persistent Nursing Issues and Challenges We Still Can’t Solve
- October 13, 2020/
Persistent Nursing Issues and Challenges We Still Can’t Solve,Nursing has come a very, very long way in the past century. However, some of the challenges highlighted by nurse leaders in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, still face the profession a century later even though their exact nature might be somewhat different. Throughout the history of nursing, most of the challenges can be linked to the gender and class barriers faced by women in society and the ever-present economic demands of the healthcare industry.
1. Shortage of nurses
The shortage of nurses is a global issue discussed on an almost daily basis in reports from across the world, but this is not a new problem. Throughout the past century the recruitment and retention of nurses have not kept up with the ever-increasing demands placed on health care; the growing need for specialized services; as well as population growth, including the aging population leading to more patients with chronic diseases. Added to these factors have been the persistent economic challenges in the healthcare industry and the growing number of other career opportunities for women.
“…the shortage of nurses appears to have been a problem from the time when the value of trained nurses in hospitals and the community was recognized.”
Taking a walk through the history of nursing, the shortage of nurses appears to have been a problem from the time when the value of trained nurses in hospitals and the community was recognized. From the mid-1800’s, when scientific developments in Western medicine increasingly led to successful treatment, hospitals changed from places where the sick and destitute were cared for to institutions where the ill were admitted for treatment.
The time was ripe when Florence Nightingale introduced formal training of nurses, and since then, it appears that the demand for qualified nurses increased exponentially. Hospital training schools for nurses mushroomed and students were used as the main workforce. Apprenticeship–type training programs of varying length and quality developed, with actual teaching often taking place in the students’ off duty time, just before examinations, or not at all. The need for students to fill staffing gaps is why hospital and nursing administrators put up strong resistance against nursing education being placed within systems of higher education.Persistent Nursing Issues and Challenges We Still Can’t Solve.
2. Inadequate conditions of service for nurses
Recruitment and retention in the nursing profession have always been linked to nurses’ working conditions – long hours, heavy workloads, low salaries compared to other professions and a lack of recognition of their essential contribution. While fair hours of work have been standardized to a large extent, nurses are increasingly called on to work mandatory overtime due to staff shortages and economic restraints. Nurses across the world are also still struggling for salaries which match their qualifications, skills, and contributions to health servic