Nursing Shortage And Nurses Of Future

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The nursing shortage and nurses of the future: a phenomenological study of change

Table of Contents



Background of the study5

Problem Statement8

Purpose of the Study11

Significance of the Study14

Research Question14

Chapter 216

Literature Review16

Theoretical Framework18

American Nurses Association22

Associate Degree Nurses23

Diploma nurse23

Poor working conditions24

Wages and demand25

Exits from the RN workforce26

A simple model27

Industry strategies33

Possible surplus34

Working Conditions35

Chapter 338




Scope, Limitations and Delimitations42


Chapter 444





The nursing profession has experienced nursing shortages throughout its history. Therefore, shortages in available registered nurse staff are not new. According to the literature, this problem has been apparent off and on for many years (Buerhaus, 2005; National League for Nursing, 2008). What is different is how the industry is solving the problem and the impact of the problem-solving approach on the profession. The nation is experiencing one of the longest and largest nursing shortages in history (New York State Education Department, 2001; Steinbrook, 2002; Sreekanth, Snigdha, 2005). The common theme of authors attributes an aging population, an aging work-force, increased career opportunities for women in other fields of employment, the image of the profession of nursing, the impact of managed care and other cost containment measures, and a shortage of nursing faculty, as reasons for this problem (New York State Education Department, 2001; Steinbrook, 2002; Ohio Nurses Association, 2004; National League for Nurses, 2008). One of the industry's answers to the shortage and a survival tactic is to hire new associate degree graduates for position vacancies (Steinbrook, 2002; Spencer, 2008; American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2010). The hiring of associate degree graduate nurses for these positions occurs due to supply and demand, where associate degree graduates out number baccalaureate graduates in availability. Although baccalaureate degree nurse graduates have no more nursing education than the associate degree graduate, they do have more critical thinking and leadership skills provided in their educational programs (DeSimone, 2006; Delaney, Piscopo, 2007; American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2010;). The educational background of nurses in general and associate degree prepared nurses specifically is the focus of this chapter.

This chapter contains the following sections: background information, the problem statement, the purpose and significance of this research, the nature of this study, the conceptual/theoretical framework used, the research questions upon which this study is based, assumptions, scope, limitations, and delimitations and the chapter summary. This chapter also contains the historical perspective of associate degree nursing program(s) and their intent; the history of why there is a need for exploring possible means of enhancing the leadership skills of graduating associate degree nurses, and the significance of that need.

Background of the study

In 1955 Mildred Montag, in response to an earlier nursing shortage, developed a curriculum for a Registered Nurse Program that could provide this education in a two year period in a community college setting; and at the end of the program, the graduates would receive an associate degree in nursing for this education. Mildred Montag envisioned a nursing technician for this associate degree, not a professional registered nurse. In Montag's vision, the educational experience received by the graduates would ...
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