Essays on Critical Nursing Shortage in the Medical-Surgical Unit at ABC Hospital Case Study

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The paper 'Critical Nursing Shortage in the Medical-Surgical Unit at ABC Hospital" is a good example of a management case study. Nursing forms an integral part of the society since people cannot function well or execute their duties if they do not have the fullness of health. Nursing as an active organ in the institution of medicine helps promote good health, advice people on how best to improve their lives, diagnose, treat, and manage illnesses. Be it as it may, nursing as a profession, has seen an extensive shortage of personnel globally, this is well illustrated by 100 people being served by one nurse in developed countries while the situation worsens in developing countries especially sub-Saharan Africa, where a nurse serves 5000 people in one locality, thus causing a universal public health crisis (Timofeeva, 2002).

The shortage has been felt more so in the medical-surgical unit at ABC Hospital. The report, therefore, seeks to find out what are the contributing elements to the shortage, action plans for combating employee shortage in nursing and evaluate ways in which ABC Hospital’ s medical-surgical unit can be able to decrease the turnover of its nurses. Factors Contributing to the Nursing Shortage The objectives of this report are to highlight factors that cause nurses to quit their jobs, analyze the possible plan of actions in retaining nurses, and what the management can do to recruit new nurses and be able to retain them.

There are factors and elements that have contributed to the extensive turnover of nurses in the medical-surgical unit in ABC Hospital. It is important to highlight these factors because, research done has shown that an inadequate number of professional, skilled and experienced nurses has a fundamentally negative impact on the outcomes of patients, that is, the success of treating and managing illnesses, diagnosing illness, and mortality rates (Charles, 2007).

This means that the shortage of nurses is causing the deaths of patients, causing health impairment and wellbeing of society. One factor is imminent and existing retirement of qualified and experienced veteran nurses who assists in surgeries (Feldman, 2003). More workforce exits in the medical unit are being experienced, by nurses who have served in the department long enough and feel they cannot work anymore.

However, the entry-level of new nurses is so low such that they are unable to fill the void that is left. This can be associated with fewer students studying nursing and low enrollment in nursing schools, and if they do, they prefer to work in other departments other than the medical units due to the workload in the department and the long hours in theatres. Relocation of nurses from one to department to the other in the medical-surgical unit forms the highest factor to the shortage of its nurses (Timofeeva, 2002).

This is caused by high demand for skilled nurses in departments like ambulatory care surgical units, inpatient units, maternity wards, consultation unit, emergency wards, intensive care units among other units, have an increased influx of patients. This forces the management to transfer or relocate nurses in the medical-surgical unit in order to increase healthcare delivery and allow patients to be attended to in good time.


Charles, R. M. (2007). The Health Care Managers Human Resources Handbook. London: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Feldman, H.R. (2003). The nursing shortage: strategies for recruitment and retention in clinical practice and education. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Timofeeva, A.A. (2002). The nursing profession: description and issues. New York: Nova Publishers.

Valerie, L. & Janice, L. (2007). Recruitment and Retention of a Diverse Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities. Journal of Healthcare Management, 52(5), 290-8.

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