Leadership approaches to nursing shortage and nursing turnover

Leadership approaches to nursing shortage and nursing turnover

Nursing is a very key field in healthcare provision. It is therefore prudent that we look at some of the issues that affect the nursing field’s operation. One of the most prevalent problems that many nurses and their leaders face is the nursing shortage and nursing turnover phenomenon. The nursing shortage is the situation when the demand for nurses surpasses the number of employed nurses or those that are willing to get hired at a particular time. In recent research conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there was a clear indication that the nursing shortage was expected to shoot up due to the increased baby boomers age and the increased need for healthcare due to the emergence of new health conditions and diseases such as cancer. In the US alone the nurses made up to 2.7% of the working population which is a drop from 3.6% in the last six years. The attribution of reduction in the figures is to the widespread shortage and rising turnover of nurses (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2014). The significant causes of nursing shortage include few nursing graduates, low remuneration and discouraging working conditions such as lack of training, promotions, motivation, and mistreatment by seniors.

Nursing turnover on the other side is the loss of nurses due to termination, transfers, and resignation.in 2009 alone the healthcare organizations lost almost $300000 because of nursing turnover and the figures keep rising every day. Nursing turnover is due to ineffective leadership styles, lack of adequately defined roles, non-recognition of performing nurses, poor communication lines by leaders and managers concerning problems and issues affecting the nurses’ working conditions, and accumulation of workloads to a smaller number of nurses.  The issue can also be due to poor teamwork, tight schedules, increase physical demand at work, lack of job flexibility to mention a few. Nursing shortage and nursing turnover have the effect of reduction in the healthcare quality getting offered to patients, rise of accidents at the workplace, increased rates of absenteeism as well as reduced staffing. In this paper, we shall discuss the approaches that nursing leaders and managers can use to solve these problems, contract various methods and find possible sources of funding to resolve the issues (Hellerawa and De Alwis, 2015).

Comparing and contrasting the nursing leaders and managers using nursing shortage and turnover approach

Having looked at the negative impacts that the nursing shortage and nursing turnover can have on the quality and level of healthcare, it is without a doubt that we need solutions. The nursing leaders and managers are responsible for changing the situation. They have to come up with the appropriate approaches to solve the issue. Nursing leaders and managers work differently, and they can have different approaches to the problem.

Nursing managers are those employed by the organization to steer it the achievement of its goals and objectives through proper management of resources. The nursing managers working principle is working along the vision, policies, systems and working per the boundaries of the organization at all time. They always apply their managerial skills to ensure that the organization is running well. The manager’s roles are to delegate tasks to nurses and ensure that tasks get completed in time and there is an increase in productivity. They also plan, organize, budget, solve problems, coordinate and make decisions governing various issues such as the nursing shortage and turnover. To resolve the puzzle, the nursing managers can assist with ensuring there are flexible schedules and enough staff to patient ratios. They can advocate for enough reimbursement for nurses, enhance the nursing experience, benefit plans, and payments to encourage advanced nursing education, completion of degrees and postgraduate degrees. Nursing managers can also increase their presence as well as increasing job sharing. These approaches increase job satisfaction and improve working conditions which have a more significant impact on the retention of nurses and reducing the nursing turnover and nursing shortage in the long run (Fischer, 2016).

Nursing leaders on the other side assist in linking the organization to its goals through the creation of a good rapport within nurses. The nurse leaders use leadership theories and principles such as transactional leadership and transformational leadership. The style and approach influence the nurses through consensus, communication, listening, motivating, inspiring, building trust, empowerment and above all developing a good vision. The nurse leaders create an image in nurses and the mentor the other nurses to achieve the vision. They also can encourage flexibility, adaptability, career advancement, promotions through rewarding systems and then create a positive force using useful communication lines. Through the use of these skills, the nurse leaders encourage the retention of the nurses as well reduce the nursing shortage as many nurses will be willing to get employed into such an organization (Duffield et al. 2014).

The best approach best suited to my personal and professional philosophy

I am a positive and inspiring person that believes in the positive impacts that team building can have in nursing. I also like leading by example and encouraging others. The best leadership approach that suits my professional philosophy and personal character is the one that is stipulated by nursing leaders. As a nursing leader, I use transformational leadership to create a good vision and explain the idea to the other nurses. Excellent and effective communication inspires the other nurses to work towards achieving the organization’s vision. There is also the promotion of responsibility for actions through the use of rewards and recognition of the nurses who are performing well. The approach also promotes the empowerment of the nurses through the encouragement of the advancement of education. The method is also suited to my leadership style because it enables me to understand the weaknesses and strengths of my staff and then uses this information to improve the potential of the team. I believe since the approach encourages communication, listening, empathy, persuading and sensitivity to workloads, there will be enhanced working conditions which will consequently reduce nurse turnover. In the long run, it subdues nursing shortage issues (Fischer, 2016).

Possible sources of funding to address the nursing shortage and nursing turnover

As we have seen the nursing shortage and nursing turnover are issues that require not only proper leadership but also enough monetary resources for them to get eliminated successfully. For instance, to solve nursing shortage, there is the need to increase the number of colleges offering nursing courses as well as raising funds to sponsor more nursing students who will then end up joining the nursing profession and abate the nursing shortage (Fischer, 2016). The federal government and state education department can aid in this by increasing the funds towards increasing colleges and provision of educational funds to nursing students. Some grants such as Pell grant, Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship, FASFA, HRSA, and CDC can also aid in providing funds to nursing students. Some hospitals also pay for advanced education for their nursing staff to advance their studies. The provision of funds towards the education of nurses will play a significant role in reducing nursing shortage and nursing turnover (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2014).



American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2014). Nursing shortage fact sheet. Washington, DC: AACN

Duffield, C. M., Roche, M. A., Homer, C., Buchan, J., & Dimitrelis, S. (2014). A comparative review of nurse turnover rates and costs across countries. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(12), 2703-2712.

Fischer, S. A. (2016). Transformational leadership in nursing: a concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(11), 2644-2653.

Hellerawa, K. S. S. M., & De Alwis, C. A. (2015). The nursing shortage impact on job outcome (the case in Sri Lanka). Journal of Competitiveness, 7(3), 75-94.