The proposed solution entails developing a policy agenda that points to enactment of workable solutions. To effectively deal with the problem of shortage of nurses, it is essential to increase the number of registered nurses. This will be achieved through improving the methods, used for recruitment. The rationale for increasing the number of registered nurses as a solution is that aging is catching up with the already working nurses (Rajapaksa & Rothstein, 2009). As these nurses retire, they leave a vacuum that must be filled. Moreover, some nurses are opting to leave the profession for various reasons. Thus, it is a high time to adopt a workable policy to encourage and enroll more nurses.
According to a survey, conducted by National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses in 2002, the rate, at which nurses are leaving the profession, is alarming. Although there are various reasons cited for nurses leaving the profession such as lack of proper workforce, insufficient career support, poor incentive structures and the major cause of this shortage poor recruitment. The survey reports that despite the fact there is no proper policies to guide in the recruitment process, there is poor policies, regarding retention of the staff. This has resulted into low supply of the new staff. Buchan &Aiken (2008) argues that due to insufficient staff, nurses are forced to work for long hours something that inconveniences them. Thus, they are unable to balance work and their career. This has compelled nurses to look for more rewarding jobs. Nurses’ insecurities and anxiety has resulted into pressure in their working environment (Buchan &Aiken, 2008). Therefore, the quality of nursing has been compromised due to lack of enough staff. Indeed, most health care centers are facing the resultant effect of poor job performance.
In a case study of Iran health care by National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, it was reported that in 2008 there were about 90,000 nurses in the health care system (Zarea et al., 2009). Due to stringent recruitment policies, the number of nurses had decreased despite the fact that the health care is in dire need of more nurses. The proposed change should facilitate revision of recruitment policies (Anand & Barnighausen, 2004).
The proposed change involves increasing more employment opportunities for nurses by adopting workable policies. This policy should be integrated into the organization as soon as possible to deal with the issue of shortage of nurses. The change will be integrated into the current organization structure in the following way; firstly, those responsible for recruiting the new staff should move a step higher to go to nursing schools to convince students to pursue and join the profession. However, this will be possible if the organization has already improved its working conditions and considered the staff’s welfare. Secondly, the change policy will also affect those retiring. The policy should set an age bracket, when an individual should retire. This will reduce the chances of nurses wanting to retire at an earlier age, yet they can contribute effectively into service provision (Rajapaksa & Rothstein, 2009). Finally, the policy will be integrated into the system by ensuring that those planning to leave the profession are persuaded by attending to their needs and demands. For instance, their salaries can be increased with the provision of other benefits such as extensive career training.
The implementation of new policy will affect the work culture and the flow of work. For example, increasing the number of nurses will have a positive impact into the flow of work as responsibilities will be shared, hence, reducing the workload. On the other hand, the culture of workers will become more diverse as more nurses are recruited from different backgrounds (Anand & Barnighausen, 2004). This will eventually contribute to creation of interpersonal relations between the workforce, hence, creating a favorable working environment for both the nurse and the patient. The leadership will play a big role in overseeing the implementation of the new policy. However, the initiation of the change will start with the policy makers. Fellow staff will play a big role in educating new staff in response to the demands at the working place.
Various resources are required for the implementation of the policy. Firstly, the staffs play a key role in effective implementation of the policy. Virtually, the staff is directly affected by the new policy. The current staff will be responsible for making the change effective by accommodating the new employees (Aiken el al., 2002). Once recruitment policy is changed, educational materials such as pamphlets, handouts, posters, and PowerPoint presentations will be essential to ensure the new nurses are well oriented in the new working environment. Moreover, the policy suggests the management should reach to students in colleges to convince them by analyzing the merits of joining the profession.
The new policy should be assessed before and after the implementation. This will be done through the use of questionnaires, surveys, and post and pre-test assessment of knowledge of the major participants. This will act as the baseline to determine whether the policy is workable or not (Cook, 2011). Leadership team will be able to make the necessary recommendations and interventions.
Technology is also essential in implementation of the new policy. Nowadays, health care professionals are using computers software for provision of services. This implies that the new staff will have to be educated on the use of new technology. In order to meet the needs of the patient, funds are required. Management has the obligation of ensuring that funds are available for educating the staff, producing educational materials, gathering the data as well as implementing other related activities to make the change effective.
As analyzed above, it is essential to implement the right policies in order to deal with the problem of shortage of nurses. In this case, before implementing any plan, it is recommended that those involved should ensure that there is available resources and man power such as nurses who facilitate the success of the plan. The new policy should facilitate recruitment of registered nurses hence solving the problem of shortage of nurses.