An Analysis into Nursing Shortages and Counter Solutions

Nursing Shortages and Counter Solutions Dissertation – The following dissertation examines the shortage of nurses in NHS and identifies the various factors that are causing this phenomenon of short supply of nurses. The factors examined include: 1. Poor Planning , 2. Lack of Education facilities which are exacerbating the problem of nurse shortages which includes: a. Reduction in training places, b. Attrition from Nursing Programmes , c. Lack of educators , d. Failure to attract mature students. 3. Ageing Workforce, 4. Gender Issues, 5. Requirements of the European Work Time Directives, 6. Work Climate, which includes: a. Dissatisfaction with pay, b. Increase in workload, c. Lack of empowerment, d. EU Legislation, e. Poor working conditions, 7. Poor Perception of Nursing as a profession.

The dissertation also discusses solution to this problem like better workforce planning, recruitment effort, focus on international recruitment and improvement of nursing as a profession. As pointed by O’Brien-Pallas et al (2001) state that “the cycles of shortages and surpluses, which have been a source of frustration for nurses in practice, planners, researchers, administrators and funders, are intimately linked with the quality of nurses’ work life, the health of nurses and the quality of care they are able to provide. The quality of work life can affect not only the system’s ability to recruit and retain nurses, but also overall system costs related to the productive use of available nursing resources”.

Therefore, a need to study this phenomenon of shortage of nurses, its causes and possible solutions is important. It is widely acknowledged that NHS has been facing a growing shortage of nurses. While some parts are experiencing shortage at a higher rate than others (London for example), it has been accepted that there is a national shortage. It is believed that UK may be a on a downhill road on the issue of lack of nursing staff and that it is no more a problem of organizations alone, but that of the leaders and law makers of the country.

It is said that NHS is unable to deliver good quality healthcare due to the pressure it faces on account of lack of nursing expertise. Need for nurses are depicted as cyclical in nature. Mullen (2003) points out that that the Department of Health recognizes this problem and NHS has revisited its targets to increase the nursing workforce in all clinical professions in 2000. points out that a report published by the Audit Commission drew attention to the seriousness of the workforce shortage, stating that… the biggest constraint the NHS faces today is no longer a shortage of financial resources.

  • 14,000 words – 72 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for nursing and health students

1. Introduction

2. Methodology

3. Review of Literature
Overview of the Extent of the Problem
Poor Planning
Lack of education facilities exacerbating the problem of nursing shortages
Reductions in training places in the 1980s and 1990s6
Attrition from Nursing Programmes
Lack of Educators
Failure to attract mature students
Ageing Workforce
Gender Issues
Requirements of the European Working Time Directives (EWTD)
Work Climate
Dissatisfaction with pay
Increase in workload
Lack of empowerment and a sense of being devalued
EU Legislation
Poor Working Conditions
Poor perception of nursing as a profession

4. Conclusion and Discussion
Improving Workforce Planning
Recruitment Efforts
Attracting more students
Focus on return of nurses
International Recruitment
Dealing with the age factor2
Managing Internationally Recruited Nurses
Retaining Nursing Staff
Improving the image of nursing as a profession
How Trusts and Individual Hospitals in NHS are coping with Nurse Shortages
St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust
Bedford Hospital
Nuffield Hospital Somerset
Manor Hospital
Guildford Nuffield Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH)
The Luton and Dunstable Hospital
Eastbourne Hospitals
Whipps Cross University Hospital Trust
The South London and Maudsley NHS Trust


Nursing Shortages and Counter Solutions Dissertation
Nursing Shortages and Counter Solutions Dissertation

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