The reality of a nursing shortage is well recognized and documented. Compared to past shortages deemed to be caused by low and stagnant wages, the author differentiates the present shortage as the outcome of other factors. Besides wage, unfavorable working environments, long periods of time for obtaining licenses to practice and the graying of the workforce all contribute to this phenomenon (Spetz and Given, 2003).
The authors' propose that to reverse the shortage, there should be an increase in wage along with increasing the number of nursing graduates. In 2004, a sizeable number of nurses changed occupation citing low wage as one reason and is documented as a reason for students not wanting to enroll in nursing (Elgie, 2007). Hence, a wage increase should be significant enough to make compensation for nurses' work competitive, stimulate student enrollment and keep up with inflation as well.
In terms of supply and demand, the current nursing shortage naturally causes increased demand.
This results in employers competing for nursing labor and raising wages and benefits to attract potential employees. The wage increase should be significant in order to be competitive enough to retain nurses. However, it may be difficult for wages to increase significantly because employers deal with the shortage by outsourcing nurses from other countries who are willing to work for lower pay (Elgie, 2007).
Although it may fill in the needs of health care institutions, outsourcing is not a viable long term solution to the problem because of pressure from other countries who are struggling to keep their nurses (Spetz and Given, 2003). This emphasizes the need to produce domestic nurses. Efforts to entice greater student enrollment in nursing have been exerted but the limited number of faculty members in nursing schools is yet to be addressed.
Between community or practicing nurses...