The Impact of Nursing Shortage on Leadership and Management

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Leaders and managers help in ensuring that the workforce in every field performs according to the set standards. However, they always face challenges in their day-to-day interactions with employees, for instance, nursing shortages and nurse turnover. The nursing shortage is a condition which exists whenever the supply of nursing professionals is lower than the demand in a country or a healthcare facility. On the other hand, nurse turnover refers to a situation whereby nurses leave their jobs, either voluntarily or involuntary. The voluntary reasons for nurse turnover include: the desire to go back to school, changes in geographical location, desire to change profession, among others. Involuntary turnover results when nurses are forced to leave work due to retirement, health issues, among others. This study gives more insights on how leaders and managers should respond to nursing shortage as well as nurse turnover.

Compare and Contrast How Nursing Leaders and Managers Should Approach Nursing Shortage and Nurse Turnover

Research has consistently confirmed that nursing shortage exists in the U.S. According to Jones (2008), the U.S. is undergoing a huge shortage in the number of the registered nurses (RNs). This has a negative effect on the health of the millennials and more so, on the overall American’s healthcare. The trends behind the demand and supply of nurses in the country depend on various factors, for instance, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement. However, Coomber & Barriball (2007) identified the variations of health delivery systems in different states, an increase in acuity of the people who need healthcare, higher competition in the healthcare industry and hospital consolidation as the main factors behind the nursing shortage.

Due to the alarming nature of the nursing shortage, the leaders and managers of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) should partner up with the media, government, nursing organizations, nursing colleges as well as policymakers to make the problem known to the public. This will help in ensuring that more numbers of students enroll for the course and also gather support from the relevant authorities. Other than that, the AACN should leverage all the resources needed by the policymakers and other stakeholders in the healthcare industry to perform their duties, (Hayes et al., 2006). More research on when the nursing shortage started occurring, the rate at which it is happening as well as factors that have contributed should be carried out in an attempt to solve the issue.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nurse turnover results from staffing reasons, personal issues as well as the relationship that exists between them and other stakeholders. The main personal issue that makes nurses resign from work is to pursue their personal businesses, while the main reason that makes nurses move from one healthcare facility to the other is the search for a better pay, (Shader et al., 2001). Those who leave their jobs due to staffing, especially those who work in the public sector, do so due to the huge workload assigned to them compared to other professionals in the same industry. Finally, some nurses quit their jobs as a result of the reduced relationships that exist between them and their leaders as well as other stakeholders in the industry.

The issue of nurse turnover should be addressed through enacting effective vertical and horizontal communication measures, (Coomber & Barriball, 2007). It is evident that most issues that cause nurse turnover can be avoided if time and effective communication take place in the industry. This can help in resolving issues that could be existing between nurses and their leaders, as well as other stakeholders, and also give enough time for the employers to plan towards hiring new employees whenever the employees plan to resign in future.

Theories, Principles, Skills, and Roles of the Leaders versus Managers

It is worth noting that the problem of nurse turnover, just like a nursing shortage, have similar results on nurses’ leaders and managers. The leaders and managers should, therefore, utilize similar tactics to combat the issues, for instance, motivation, communication, problem-solving and the use of contingency theory are practical tactics to both managers and leaders, (McClure & Hinshaw, 2002).

Managers and leaders at various healthcare centers are employed to ensure that nurses efficiently perform their duties, (Andrews & Dziegielewski, 2005). They, therefore, have to employ diverse theories, skills, and principles to ensure that they solve the issue of nursing shortages and nurse turnover. It would, therefore, be wise for them to equip themselves with competent communication and problem-solving skills. This would help them in understanding the problems that their subordinates could be having and solving them on time.

The leaders and managers should also apply another essential principle in solving the issue, which is conducting surveys. Bo so doing, they would be able to collect data from the current workers as well as the victims of nursing shortages and nurse turnover on the probable causes. The survey will also give rise to ideas on the strategies that can be put in place to solve the issue. Finally, the leaders and managers should ensure that their workstations are equipped with a software system that can help them in recruiting new nurses since it will always reflect the number of available nurses and their respective tasks. The software is also helpful in recording the number of tasks completed by each nurse on a daily basis, hence helping in monitoring the turnover, (Aiken et al., 2002).

The Approach that Best Fits my Personal and Professional Philosophy and an Explanation of Why the Approach Suits to My Personal Leadership Style

Having identified different approaches that can be used by leaders and managers in their attempt to eliminate nursing shortages as well as nurse turnover, I strongly believe that effective vertical and horizontal communication in the healthcare facilities is the main key towards solving the issues. This is due to the fact that I prefer using the democratic leadership style. Communication can help in ensuring a two-way exchange of ideas between the executives and the subordinates. It will, therefore, be easy for nurses to raise their concern and chat the way forward, rather than quitting their jobs. They would also have the chance to raise issues that arise from nursing shortages such as being overworked, without having to face any form of intimidation. Managers and leaders will also involve the nurses in the process of coming up with permanent solutions to the issues.

A Possible Funding Source That Considers Nursing Shortage and Nurse Turnover

The federal government should establish financial incentives that will enable it to invest in nursing. Although there are well-laid policies on nursing staff retention, there is need to invest new dollars in the healthcare system as a way of establishing a new base of response capacity. The federal government also needs to invest in more surveys and research nursing shortages and nurse turnover. This calls for new tactics of ensuring that the new dollars are made available.


It is evident that the issues of nursing shortages and nurse turnover have reached alarming levels. Nurse leaders and managers need to combine their efforts towards eradicating these two problems with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the government and other stakeholders in the healthcare industry. If immediate action is not taken, the results of the citizens will experience dire consequences of the two problems. As mentioned above, communication is the primary key towards solving the issues.


Aiken, L. H., Clarke, S. P., Sloane, D. M., Sochalski, J., & Silber, J. H. (2002). Hospital nurse staffing and patient mortality, nurse burnout, and job dissatisfaction. Jama, 288(16), 1987-1993.

Andrews, D. R., & Dziegielewski, S. F. (2005). The nurse manager: job satisfaction, the nursing shortage and retention. Journal of nursing management, 13(4), 286-295.

Coomber, B., & Barriball, K. L. (2007). Impact of job satisfaction components on intent to leave and turnover for hospital-based nurses: a review of the research literature. International journal of nursing studies, 44(2), 297-314.

Hayes, L. J., O’Brien-Pallas, L., Duffield, C., Shamian, J., Buchan, J., Hughes, F., ... & Stone, P. W. (2006). Nurse turnover: a literature review. International journal of nursing studies, 43(2), 237-263.

Jones, C. B. (2005).American The costs of nurse turnover, part 2: application of the nursing turnover cost calculation methodology. Journal of Nursing Administration, 35(1), 41-49.

Jones, C. B. (2008). Revisiting nurse turnover costs: adjusting for inflation. Journal of Nursing Administration, 38(1), 11-18.

McClure, M. L., & Hinshaw, A. S. (Eds.). (2002). Magnet hospitals revisited: Attraction and retention of professional nurses. Amer Nurses Assn.

Shader, K., Broome, M. E., Broome, C. D., West, M. E., & Nash, M. (2001). Factors influencing satisfaction and anticipated turnover for nurses in an academic medical center. Journal of Nursing Administration, 31(4), 210-216.

October 13, 2023

Management Healthcare

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