The pandemic’s end is on the horizon, but if there’s one thing the past two years have taught us, it’s always to err on the side of caution.  

There are still concerns about what COVID-19’s havoc left in the healthcare industry, particularly worsening the nursing shortage, which directly affects patient safety and hospital operations. But the resilience and perseverance of each nurse and healthcare professional paved the way to where we are now.  

This mindset of continuous improvement of healthcare in attending to health affairs is what we are holding onto as we enter the new year.  

It is integral that the nursing profession has a united vision of how to move forward due to the much-needed cultural shift due to nursing shortage effects that won’t diminish anytime soon  

The Partners for Nurse Staffing narrowed these aspects down to six and defined each one. Read on to have a good glimpse of what changes are necessary for your healthcare facility, to improve care for nurses.  

Read more: Is It Finally Over? Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic  

Nurses need a safer work environment.  

Six organisations comprise the Partners for Nurse Staffing, launched the Nurse Staffing Think Tank last January 2022 to round up suggestions on addressing six key aspects of the health system that affect nurses when striving to meet desirable patient outcomes.  

The think tank’s report defined a healthy work environment. They highlighted the significance of creating a safe space for nurses, in particular, where they can practice without worry that patients will hurt them physically and psychologically.  

This is confirmed by a recent report where at least two nurses in the country were assaulted by patients every two hours.  

In 2020, insufficient resource trauma was identified as another significant issue in the nursing industry. Insufficient resource trauma occurs when nursing staff experience going through the struggle of depleted resources, such as oxygen tanks and hospital beds, issues prevalent during the early periods of the pandemic.  

The think tank also emphasised the need to evaluate safety in the work environment continuously. Nurse leaders need to assess their staff’s welfare and provide opportunities to be present. 

This means ensuring persons or authorities are physically available in case of emergencies or if there is a need for psychological support.  

DEI initiatives should be prevalent within the healthcare facility.  

Diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) are significant in the healthcare industry. Organisations that have started with DEI initiatives are basking in its benefits: better staff retention, less burnout, and keeping their employees engaged. As for hospitals, having a diverse and inclusive nursing staff helps with patient care.  

The United States Census Bureau stated that 50 percent of Americans in 2044 will belong to minorities. With DEI, language and cultural barriers will be minimal, improving nursing and patient experiences.  

Read more: Why Focus On Diversity: A Global Nurse Pipeline Leads to Less Turnover and Improved Patient Safety  

The Partners for Nurse Staffing recommend reducing the nursing shortage by hiring a diverse community of nurses. This kind of inclusivity should be felt among the nurse leaders for them to lobby specifically for minorities’ concerns and to speak out about cultural sensitivity more fluently and more directly to management. Nursing staff will feel well represented to have leadership that represents them.  

Nurses must be able to enjoy schedule flexibility.  

With extended shifts, letting go of PTO opportunities, and sleepless nights, the dire effects of each nurse having to endure more work than usual took its toll on the nurses.  

Extended exposure to stress and burnout led massively to the nursing shortage, with one-third of nurse correspondents deciding to leave the profession by the end of 2022. Furthermore, nurses enduring long shifts affect the quality of patient care.  

Like any professional, each nurse should have ample time to rest. While the lessening of COVID-19 cases may mean nursing staff may acquire more time off, it’s still imperative to hire more nursing personnel.  

The Partners for Nurse Staffing suggests having float pool nurses across departments and hospitals, as well as extending job opportunities even to retired nurses or part-time nursing contractors. They also mentioned the need to hire more non-nursing hospital staff so that nurses will worry less about additional tasks during their shifts.  

The think tank also highlighted the “stress injury continuum,” which includes burnout syndrome, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), compassion fatigue, anxiety, depression, moral distress, and other conditions that result from stress exposure.  

With repetitively handling deaths of patients and the despair of their loved ones, the nursing workforce got in their heads far too often in the past two years. Nurse burnout was common with hospital nurses, and even if the pandemic is expected to end soon, the effects left by the nursing shortage still haunt those who are still in the profession  

The think tank recommended comprehensive monitoring of nurses’ mental health to see patterns, identify long-term solutions, and evaluate if proposed solutions indeed work.  

Since the stress injury continuum directly affects nurse absenteeism, attrition rates, and interest in availing of mental health solutions, these factors will be closely monitored to see if nurses are getting the proper care they deserve regarding their headspace.  

Read more: How the Pandemic Has Affected Nurses’ Mental Health  

Innovation on how to deliver care within the healthcare facility should be given a spotlight.  

The Partners for Nurse Staffing emphasised innovation in care delivery. Nurses should be involved in all aspects, from planning to execution.  

Several challenges in improving care delivery were brought up, for example, in caring for the elderly, pregnant patients, and those with mental and behavioural concerns. The need for nursing leadership to ensure the point of view of a nurse is considered throughout projects that aim for healthcare innovation was emphasised.  

Improve compensation and benefits for the nursing community.  

While nursing jobs look promising in the coming year, the think tank resolved that nurses should be celebrated as revenue generators rather than additional costs. For example, a staff nurse should maintain a keen eye on keeping up with patient records because a single mistake in them can cost the facility a lot more than just losing customers.  

Nursing professionals have become more in demand in the past and in the coming years, which is why the rise in salaries is understandable. Evaluate if well-earned benefits such as mental health services are in the works for your nursing professionals.  

The healthcare industry has taken massive steps to improve the working conditions of nurses, especially in the US. Salaries and benefits are improving, and there’s better attention to enhancing and guarding their mental health.  

But are these efforts enough to say that employers have done their part to mitigate the nursing shortage? While we cannot say yes to this question, things are looking up. The think tank’s suggestions are vital in ensuring the nursing community is far from a shortage.  


Speaking of building a nursing community, why not approach a staffing partner dedicated to bringing you the best international nurses? We at PRS Global can find the best immigrant nurses for you and take care of them as they enter a new working and living environment in the US.  

We also provide financial support and monitor how they’ve assimilated into the US as their new home.  

Approach the nursing shortage with a hopeful outlook. Contact PRS Global now.