May 21, 2019

5 of the Biggest Issues Facing Nurses Today

Nurses are being asked to do more in facilities across the United States as the nursing shortage continues. Due to this, nurses are increasingly becoming frustrated and reporting issues they face in the workplace. Here is a list of 5 of the biggest issues nurses face in 2019.

5. Nurse Burnout

Burnout in nurses is caused by overworking, hectic schedules, high patient loads, and lack of fulfillment in a nurse's role. In the PassportUSA Nurse Staffing Barometer, we found that nurse burnout is the most highly concerning issue that all levels of nurses face in the healthcare industry in 2019. Burnout doesn't just affect experienced nurses: recent graduates may also feel burnout acutely when transitioning from education to a full-time job. If inexperienced nurses are becoming burnt out after one year in the field, this will lead to worse patient outcomes and poor staff performance.

4. Safety in the Workplace

Research from the American Nursing Association shows that almost two-thirds of nurses say injuries related to needlesticks and blood-borne infections remain major concerns. 55% believe their own personal safety is negatively affected by the workplace safety climate. Nurses aren't just at risk from problems directly related to their tools -- they are often injured by patients as well. In a recent poll published by Medscape, 71% of nurses identified that they had been harassed by a patient, either verbally or physically. This harassment can be a result of patients' unhappiness with procedures, medication, or the care they are receiving.

3. Nursing Shortages

The nursing shortage has made both acquiring and retaining nurses more difficult. The job market competition is fierce, and facilities are often forced to operate short-staffed while they look for more nurses. However, this negatively affects nurses, since the nurse-to-patient ratio can quickly become unmanageable in an understaffed unit. These shortages vary greatly based on geography. States in the west & south are some of the hardest hit, due to growing & aging populations, and a low number of nurses entering the workforce.

2. Increased Workload

As mentioned earlier, the nursing shortage has lead to increased workloads for nurses. A recent RNnetwork survey found that 40% of nurses had less free time than two years ago due to work, while 46% reported an increased workload.Facilities are trying to rectify this, but more needs to be done. The study found that 36% of nurses feel that employers do not support a goal of work-life balance. In a highly competitive market, nurses are looking for employers who will treat them with respect and compassion.

1. The Education-Complexity Gap

As the nursing workforce ages, retiring nurses are being replaced by novice-level nursing graduating from universities. These two forces are creating a gap between the experience level of the nursing workforce and the complexity of care these nurses are able to provide. This leads to difficulties between nurses due to the varied level of experience, and the growing amount of novice-level nurses without mentors.If your facility is combatting the nursing shortage by hiring nurses directly out of college, you may be facing a looming education-complexity gap. While young nurses have a strong grasp on the academic side of medicine, they may not be equipped to provide care for multiple patients at a time as well as experienced nurses. Recent graduate RNs also self-reported making medication errors (40%) and missing signs of life-threatening conditions (50%) at a higher rate than more experienced RNs, according to Advisory Board.This is expected: making mistakes and growing from them is essential for learning. However, with many more young RNs entering the workforce as many experienced RNs leave, your facility may face a gap in patient care. As a way to fix this, consider hiring international nurses through PassportUSA. The nurses PassportUSA provides have an average of 8.25 years of nursing experience, ensuring that they will be able to thrive in a high-pace & high-pressure environment.


These 5 issues facing nurses are difficult to resolve, but they can all be improved by having a complete workforce. When nurses are able to spend more time giving thorough care, they will achieve higher job satisfaction. A fully-staffed workforce allows each nurse to spend the right amount of time on the tasks they need to do, which minimizes errors, burnout, and stress.If nurses at your facility are facing these challenges, reach out to PassportUSA. We specialize in workforce solutions for facilities of all sizes. Improve the well-being of your nurses with a low-cost, long term solution for short-staffed units. Our international RNs are ready to work and can start soon. Click below to learn more:

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