NursingChallenges in the 21st Century
NursingChallenges in the 21st Century
Today,globalization has promoted connectivity and exchange of goods andservices at a level that was not possible earlier. Nonetheless, thesetrends pose new and greater challenges for nurses in the twenty-firstcentury (Faleiros, Gimenes & Raphael, 2014). The problems aremainly caused by the fast and numerous changes in political, social,economic, and cultural aspects, which have far-reaching effects onindividual and community health. Providing care contributes to thequality of life because it means promoting social justice, fightingpoverty, and ensures that everyone can access essential nursingservices. Although, many issues exist and some of them are becomingmore severe due to lack of legislation to streamline the problems,the nurses are challenged to come up new ways to meet the demands ofhealth issues critically and efficiently (Faleiros, Gimenes &Raphael, 2014). Over the past century, the field of nursing hasundergone several changes and development to cope with the shiftingdemographics and healthcare needs. The nursing profession can besatisfying, but today, the nurses are facing numerous challengescaused by staffing problems, lack of collaboration, inadequatefinances, and difficulty when transferring school knowledge intoclinical practice.
Lackof financial and human resources hinders nurses from carrying outtheir duties effectively and safely (Faleiros, Gimenes & Raphael,2014). Today, there are increased health problems due to the threatof communicable diseases and issues associated with violence andsocial disintegration. The problem is particularly prevalent in poorregions because they lack the finances to invest in education andhealth facilities. Then again, there is a shortage of caregiversworldwide, which makes it challenging for nurses to perform theirroles efficiently. The lack of nurses has been recurring problemsince the 19th century. However, the present deficiency is differentbecause it is more difficult to fix (Faleiros, Gimenes & Raphael,2014). The current high shortage levels are partly attributed tofewer people choosing the nursing profession. Besides, the retiringbaby boomers in this professional reduce the number of working nursesand increases demand for health care. In the past, hospitals matchedthe requirement by hiring caregivers from other countries. Currently,many countries are experiencing numerous problems due to poverty,threats of terrorism, and HIV/AIDS pandemic (Faleiros, Gimenes &Raphael, 2014). Hence, the shortage affects all developed anddeveloping countries making it hard to get surplus nurses to fill thegap when needed. Additionally, there is an increasing need forhealthcare providers because the school system is unable to educatemore nurses to replace those retiring and leaving the profession.Moreover, the aging population is increasing the number of people inneed of care, which is escalating the burden on the nurses (Faleiros,Gimenes & Raphael, 2014).
Currently,hospital staffing crisis is intensifying due to the increased healthcare costs. On the other hand, the problems could also be aggravatingdue to massive investment in modern medical equipment, which meansthat the management is not paying much attention to adequate staffinglevels. Recruitment is a personal and professional concern for mostnurses today. Research shows that issues related to staffing levelsare the some of the primary contributors to employee turnover in thefield of nursing (Faleiros, Gimenes & Raphael, 2014). However,the global shortage of nurses creates a gap, which leaves most ofthem overworked and increased cases of burnout. The nurses have towork for long hours, and in some cases, they have to operate nonstopor extend their shifts causing fatigue that could lead to medicalmistakes, which threaten the safety of the patient. Studies have alsofound that nurses are impaired in their duties due to loss of sleep,inability to recover between shifts, and daytime drowsiness. Suchfatigued workers were more likely to report cases of negativeemotions and regrets, which lead to outcomes that vary from theexpected or desired results. Additionally, it introduces incomplexity in health care due to increased rate of injury among thepatients and the nurses (Faleiros, Gimenes & Raphael, 2014).
Lackof collaboration presents challenges, which make it hard for thenurses to provide safe and quality care (Faleiros, Gimenes &Raphael, 2014). Over the past two decades, the health systemsglobally have evolved. Then again, improved technology and scientificknowledge on chronic diseases have enhanced the quality of life.Currently, there is an increase in life expectancy globally, butthere is also a shortage of caregiver. Besides, there are significantchallenges when establishing safe and quality nursing in a complexhealthcare environment. Dealing with adverse events and promotion ofsafe health care requires the collaboration of all healthcare teams,individuals, families, and the community, to create a body ofknowledge to promote evidence-based practices (Faleiros, Gimenes &Raphael, 2014). However, most people are fully committed to otheraspects of their life such as school and business thus, they leaveall the health care responsibilities to the nurses. Therefore, itrequires more than having sufficient knowledge of the adverse eventsand preventing risks because the professional have to adopt thoseapproaches on a daily basis. The primary objective is to acquire andmaintain the highest possible level of self-sufficiency to maximizethe community’s participation. Consequently, the shortage duringthe twenty-first century is more severe, and unless the healthorganizations globally devise a lasting solution, it will lead to acrisis in the healthcare sector. As the deficiency becomes evenworse, more people will be denied access to healthcare because no onewill be available to provide it (Faleiros, Gimenes & Raphael,2014).
Anotherobstacle is the difficulty encountered when transferring theavailable knowledge into clinical practice. The nurses need resourcesto help them manage the current health care need of a diverse societyand identify the risk of unsafe care (Huston, 2014). However, theirtraining does not necessarily meet the needs of the 21st-centurypopulation. Today, the healthcare environments and patients’ needsare more complex. Consequently, the nurses need to possess higherskills, competencies, and diverse attitudes to meet those needsefficiently. Moreover, the knowledge should be applied to promote asafe transfer of patients at home, which one of the primary aspect ofrehabilitation. The nurses have to ensure that the patients at homeare moved in a manner that prevents fall-related injuries. Hence, itis challenging for the nurses as they develop training approaches forhome self-care safety. Besides, it is difficult to organize andmonitor self-care at home without the help of the family members(Huston, 2014).
Furthermore,meeting patients’ expectations in the twenty-first century is verydemanding (Huston, 2014). Today, all organizations including thehealthcare sector are concerned with feedback from their clients.These opinions are used as the basis for improving service provisionin the future. However, in most cases, the patients give negativefeedback because they believe that the nurses did not respond to themon time. These individuals fail to acknowledge the current staffingissues where the nurse-to-patient ratio reduces the personnelflexibility(Huston, 2014). Therefore, meeting the patients’ expectation isalready hard enough, and the situation is expected to deteriorate asthe elderly population increases. Besides, there is a possibilitythat the nurses will be stretched too thin if the situation does notimprove soon thus, it may become difficult to fulfill the needs ofeach patient and guarantee that they provide quality and safe care(Huston, 2014).
Despitethe challenges, continuous training programs can help the nursesovercome some of the difficulties they encounter today. Additionally,the nursing institutions should include patient safety as adiscipline in the curriculum. The professionals and relevant healthauthorities should create health strategies to empower individuals,families, and caregivers to help minimize the shortage (Huston,2014). However, these approaches should also give people the supportthey need to develop autonomy in their home environment to promotesocial participation and help provide and receive safe care. Thecomplexity of the challenges makes it necessary to strengthen thenursing discipline. Therefore, it involves creating inventiveepistemological bases that correspond to contemporary developments,which are consistent and reasonable towards individual and communityneeds. The approach will support and guide professional practice inthe nursing field. In the twenty-first century, it is important touse the joint efforts of nurses to promote effective action in healthcare provision (Huston, 2014).
Inconclusion, the health systems have become complicated due toincreased life expectancy and changing health care needs. The nursesencounter numerous challenges today, but the primary issues arerelated staffing and lack of collaboration. Nursing involvesdemanding tasks that require the full attention of the professionalto avoid mistakes that can jeopardize the patients’ health.However, the nurse-patients ratio is un-proportional, which leavesthese healthcare providers to work for long hours without much restbetween shifts. Thus, they end up being exhausted, and the patientsare dissatisfied due to mistakes and unexpected outcome. Besides,nurses have to provide safety and ensure that their patients in homecare situation do not suffer from fall-related injuries. However,lack of collaboration between the nurses and the community makesthese tasks even more difficult. Today, the patients have manycomplex needs, but the nurses are not always in a position to meetthose needs due to issues of staffing and collaboration. Therefore,it is essential for the nurses to understand how to communicateeffectively with patients, deal with complex conditions, advocate forthe patients, and maintain efficiency when working independently orin a health care team. Nevertheless, it is only achievable if thehealth organizations reduce the nursing shortage by recruitinginactive nurses, increasing the number of educators, and encourageself-care in the communities.
Faleiros,F. Gimenes, E & Raphael, F. (2014). Nursing challenges for the21st century. JournalofNursingCare,3(1),1-3.
Huston,C. J. (2014). Professionalissues in nursing: Challenges & opportunities.Baltimore, MD Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.