Across facilities, whether they be public or private, the issue of understaffing is a critical issue within the field of nursing. Understaffing causes a variety of challenges that affect both the nurses and their patients. It is no fault of their own that facilities are understaffed, but nurses are the individuals on the frontlines who are most affected by these circumstances, and it has a ripple effect across their facilities.
There are many reasons that understaffing occurs. As otherwise qualified individuals apply to be nurses, they can face certain bureaucratic issues that delay their ability to receive their Nursing License. If prospective Nursing Licenses are on hold, this can cause a shortage in staffing while these individuals pursue the necessary routes to clear this hurdle and obtain their Licensing as they are qualified to do so. In a similar vein, a licensed Nurse can encounter difficulties with their established license, which can prevent them from practicing while they resolve those issues. This can lead to understaffing issues in the same vein as not having enough nurses in the first place. The demand for nurses always appears to be higher than the rate at which individuals can become licensed, which leads to perpetual understaffing. There simply are not enough people who are obtaining licenses (although they may be in the process of obtaining one, or are working to reinstate a license after an issue) to compensate for the demand of licensed Nurses in various facilities.
Nurses, even without understaffing issues, generally work very long hours and regularly work overtime. With the understaffing issues caused by various circumstances including those outlined above, the challenging nature of long hours and consistent overtime is greatly exacerbated. This creates burnout, which facilitates the cycle of understaffing. This is the unfortunate reality that many nurses face in their industry and there is little to no relief, plan, or solution to alleviate these issues.
When nurses experience understaffing, and the associated burnout, their ability to care for patients in the desired capacity may be impossible to achieve. No matter how much they want to apply the fullest of their emotional, mental, and physical ability to each patient, this is impossible to do so when nurses are experiencing severe understaffing issues and the resulting burnout. Thus, not only does the issue of understaffing in nursing affect the nurses, but also affects the patients. It is a serious, perpetual issue that should be examined and changes should be made to alleviate some of these conditions.
Williams & Nickl has represented many Nurses who face issues with IDFPR. If you find yourself in such a situation, Williams & Nickl can provide the help you need.