Nursing 911: Healthcare Staffing Crisis


ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The nursing profession is facing an unprecedented crisis as the healthcare industry grapples with a severe shortage of nurses. This shortage is projected to reach 13 million nurses worldwide by 2030. That’s why hospitals are diligently seeking innovative strategies to revolutionize the field in an attempt to save both jobs and lives. Staffing Crisis

Experts say nearly a million nurses will exit the industry in the next four years.

Tommye Austin, PhD, MBA, RN, says, “Even our younger nurses that just came into the profession are leaving the profession.”

Austin who has been a nurse for 34 years says, “It has to change. It cannot be the way it was done during the pandemic because we just don’t have the resources.”

How can we expect nursing to evolve?

“Working our nurses to the top of their license is one of the main objectives for our organization.” Explains Austin.

More solutions start by redefining roles or creating different levels of nurses: expert nurses, nurses with masters and nurses with Associate’s degrees … and some nurses even working from home – leveraging telemedicine and technology.

Austin explains, “A lot of nursing time is taken up by working on that computer and inputting that data.”

Robots are also beginning to play a critical role.

“Nurses sometimes clock 20, 30,000 steps a day. And so, if we can have robots that can pick up medications from the pharmacy or take medications to the pharmacy, pick up labs, take a lab specimen down to the laboratory.” States Austin.

AI can also become an extra set of eyes to help monitor patients.

Austin says, “What that artificial intelligence can tell me is that, ‘Tommye, you need to watch that there’s something going on with that patient.’”

Transforming an industry and saving lives.

“Because I love people. Nursing is a profession that I probably could work until I’m a hundred.”

Some hospitals are now incorporating smart rooms, enabling patients to effortlessly control various aspects of their environment using their fingertips or voice commands. These innovative rooms empower patients to manage window shades, lighting, temperature and the tv—eliminating the need for nurses to interrupt their patient care duties with tasks that don’t require medical knowledge.

Stress seems to be more of the problem than money: according to, nurses are earning more money than ever before. RNs earn around 80 thousand dollars or more per year and there are more and more specialized degrees that can get as high as 200 thousand dollars a year.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer, Editor.


REPORT #3100

BACKGROUND: According to the World Health Statistics Report, there are approximately 29 million nurses and midwives globally, with 3.9 million of those individuals in the United States. Nurses make up the largest section of the health profession, however, it continues to face shortages due to a lack of potential educators, high turnover, and inequitable workforce distribution. Some nurses graduate and start working and then determine the profession is not what they thought it would be. Others may work a while and experience burnout and leave the profession. Currently, the national average for turnover rates is 8.8 percent to 37 percent, depending on geographic location and nursing specialty.


RISKS AND RESULTS: According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), more jobs were available in nursing in 2022 than in any other profession. This shortage had a significant impact on patient care. Nursing shortages can lead to errors, higher morbidity, and mortality rates. In hospitals with high patient-to-nurse ratios, nurses experience burnout, dissatisfaction, and the patients experienced higher mortality and failure-to-rescue rates than facilities with lower patient-to-nurse ratios. Some states have begun to pass legislation to limit patient-to-nurse ratios. Despite this, when staffing is short, ratios go up to meet the need. Appropriate staffing levels will decrease errors, increase patient satisfaction, and improve nurse retention rates. Organizations must be creative in meeting the needs of nurses while providing the best and safest care to the patients. An environment that empowers and motivates nurses is necessary to rejuvenate and sustain the nursing workforce.


NURSING AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: AI is already being used in healthcare settings and researchers are excited at the potential it has to improve care and efficiency. AI can be broken up into two main topics: deep learning and machine learning. Deep learning uses artificial neural networks, or algorithms that are trained (by a human), to mimic the way a human brain learns from large amounts of data in order to perform tasks. Machine learning is focused on improving the performance of a technology by taking in new data. Machine learning is also often used to forecast and make predictions. Some ways AI is already being used include data collection through wearable devices like smart watches, inpatient bedside sensors, and heart monitors; another way is early detection in the form of predictive analytics which is used across the healthcare spectrum to forecast trends in public health issues. Clinical decision support is another great example of using AI to improve healthcare by using all the data it can find within an electronic health record (EHR) system or intake notes, sensors and more. AI can help nurses and other healthcare professionals make decisions quickly and confidently.


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Rachel Yann

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