Essay Sample on Nursing Issues Bewildering Healthcare Industry in Canada

Published: 2021-07-28
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Boston College
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There are different nursing issues bewildering healthcare industry in Canada, with a shortage of nurses identified to a significant concern. In the 1990s, most provinces in Canada had ceased hiring nurses. Twenty years later, Canada is embroiled in increasing rates of nursing shortage which can be attributed to an aging nursing workforce. According to Canadian Nurses Association, it is estimated that a shortage of nurses in Canada is likely to rise to 60000 registered nurses, towards the end of the year 2022. Studies indicate that such shortages have hampered nursing efforts when it comes to the delivery of quality care to the patients. It can, therefore, be asserted that nursing shortage is adversely affecting the quality of the patient care.

Articulating the Issue

It is apparent that the nursing shortage has become a critical issue in the management of the healthcare industry in Canada. According to the reports by Canadian Nurses Association, there is the need of implementing appropriate measures, failure of which there will be an anticipated shortage of about 60000 registered nurses by the end of 2022 (Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, 2017). Programs need to be introduced to curb the growing shortages of nurses. Significant efforts should be directed towards the training of more nurses as compared to the current rates of graduation of registered nurses. The issue of Canadas escalating rates of nursing shortages is directly linked to its aging workforce. Irrespective of the application of the policies to increase the number of learners in the nursing learning institutions, it is difficult to offset growing rates of nursing retirements. Increasing the population of the students at the nursing school will lead to the expansion of the nursing roles, ultimately leading to an increase in opportunities for nurses.

Analysis of the Issue

Nursing shortage issue in Canadian healthcare sector should perceive and analyzed from the social, economic and political point of view.

Social and Cultural Analysis of the Issue

The nursing shortage is increasingly becoming a critical issue in the healthcare industry since it is affecting not only those in nursing profession but also adversely impacting on the workforce and management (planning) of the healthcare facilities. Recently, there have been significant changes to the approaches adopted when it comes to the delivery of healthcare services, coupled with dynamic needs of consumers (clients). Such scenarios in the nursing sector have paved the way for the restructuring of the workforce estimates (Duffield, 2013). For the last two decades, the nursing workforce has undergone significant changes. This is characterized by a decrease in the rates of enrollments in the nursing schools in Canada. Recently, there has been a slight increase in the number of students joining nursing schools, but it remains unproven whether such trends will be sustainable in the long-term.

The aging workforce is also another factor contributing to Canadas nursing shortages. According to Duffield (2013), a small number of young nurses are entering the profession, which is outnumbered by the number of nurses exiting the industry through retirement, ultimately creating scarcity. There is also low employment rates and significant loss of access to full-time positions for young nurses, which is excluding graduates from the system. This increases the problem of the aging nursing workforce, which is apparent in Canadas healthcare sector (Duffield, 2013). With the aging pool of nurses in the system, it is difficult for the young nurses to secure regular or full-time nursing positions in higher paying health care organizations. This discourages the enrollment of the young nurses in the learning institutions.

Canada also has an aging population, which needs a significant portion of nursing services. Such high demands of nursing care have even plunged Canadas health care industry into a crisis of nursing shortage (Duffield, 2013). It follows that aging nursing workforce in Canada has led to higher rates of retirement than their replacement, resulting in nursing shortages.

Changing lifestyles have coupled with job dissatisfaction amongst young professions has led to the deteriorations of nursing shortage issue in Canada. The current generation of workforce value flexibility (freelancing) in their job. Young nurses are often dissatisfied with workload and working environments at the hospitals. Unacceptable and unsafe working surroundings also discourage prospective RN from committing themselves entirely to the industry (Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, 2017). According to Canadian Nurses Association, nurses usually cite job demand and workload as exceeding their capacity or output. Excessive workload and possible burnout, culminated with ineffective appraisal systems do not appeal to a large number of prospective nurses wishing to make inroads to the healthcare industry.

Increasing rates of nursing shortages in Canada has been partly propagated by social and cultural factors. Such factors have acted as deterrents for the expansion of the nursing workforce to cater for the looming crises. There is the need of addressing these social causatives as a way of finding lasting solutions to this nursing issue.

Political Analysis of the Issue

Canadian Nurses Associations estimates indicate that towards the end of 2022, healthcare sector will be facing a 60000 shortage of registered nurses. This suggests that the federal and provincial governments should embrace the moral and political will when it comes to addressing this critical health issue. The political institutions must push for the implementation of the policies that can enhance the delivery of optimum health care services to the Canadians (Elgie, 2016). This requires that growing issues of nursing shortages in the country has to be eradicated.

Nursing migration is another socio-political factor contributing towards the escalation of the nursing shortage crises in Canada. According to Little (2012), Canada has been identified as a source and destination nation for global nurse migration, resulting in a net loss of nursing workforce. The United States is the principal beneficiary of Canadian nurse migration. It can be asserted that the current nursing crises in Canada epitomize political shortcomings arising from the implementation of the health care cost containment policies (Little, 2012). Apparently, such regulations did not factor in the long-term implications on the adequacy of the nursing workforce.

Limited national policies to protect and nurture young nursing professions can also be attributed to the current nursing shortages experienced in Canadas healthcare sector. Reports indicate that between 2007 and 2011, Canadas health care system was characterized by aging nurse workforce, increased cases involving the sackings of younger nurses with less seniority and a growing demand for nursing services (Little, 2012). The federal and provincial governments need to liaise with healthcare stakeholders in the promotion of the higher retention rates of nurses. The government is also expected to advocate for the enactment of policies that improve the production of the domestic nurses.

Economic Analysis of the Issue

Financial aspect has played a significant role in spiraling nursing shortage in Canada. The nursing profession is considered to be a passion, implying that they are not solely motivated by financial gains but the delivery of care to the patients. However, the perception of the poor rewards regarding monetary and inadequate recognition on their job inputs is identified as a factor contributing to the inability of health organizations to retain its nursing workforce (Buchan & Aiken, 2010). Increased workload, compounded with job dissatisfaction has compelled nurses to seek other economic sectors (business) or opt to leave Canada for better opportunities overseas. Such incidences have created a deficit in Canadas nursing workforce.

Responses to health care overheads is also another element linked to Canadas nursing shortage. In the 1990s, the focus was directed towards the expansion of the managed care. This led to an increase in cost pressure, especially on hospitals. The spread of managed care programs in Canada results in a decline in employment growth as well as RN wage as part of cost-cutting measures (Valizadeh, Hasankhani, & Shojaeimotlagh, 2016). The implementations of these changes facilitated the shifting in hospital payment systems which were explicitly designed to minimize spending through a reduction of the duration that a patient stay in the hospital. Whereas the managed care enhanced creation of the cost pressure, it significantly contributed to the inception of the nursing shortage in Canada.

Barriers to Resolutions

Some legislations have hampered earmarked resolutions to the pressing healthcare issue of nursing shortages. Apparently, some of the regulations and policies implemented by the federal government which is have contributed to an increase in the nursing shortage, bewildering healthcare industry in the delivery of quality care to the patients (Elgie, 2016). The Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPPD), Employment Insurance Act (EI) or Disability

Tax Credit form or the Disability Tax Credit Certificate are some of the legislation adopted to govern RN practices. Most of these policies were formulated and enacted at the time when nursing practices were not appreciated highly, as it is the case now. Such legislation has acted as obstacles to the expansion of the nursing roles which can help ease the problem of nursing shortage in Canada.

Nursing migration is also another hindrance to CNAs efforts to solve nursing shortages experienced in Canada. According to Little (2012), Canada has been identified as a source and destination nation for global nurse migration, resulting in a net loss of nursing workforce. The United States is the principal beneficiary of Canadian nurse migration. Canadas aging population and workforce have also frustrated the process of resolving the problem of nursing shortage in Canada (Buchan & Aiken, 2010). There is a small number of young nurses entering the profession, which is outnumbered by the number of nurses exiting the industry through retirement, ultimately creating scarcity. These obstacles have slowed down the implementation of policies that can help in solving this nursing issue.

Strategies for Resolutions

Ending nursing shortage crises remains the top priority for Canadas healthcare sector. This will involve the adoption of different approaches as CNA embarks on resolving the identified issue. The federal and provincial governments should promptly initiate a multi-stakeholder Canadian Nursing Advisory Committee (CNAC) meant to address the nursing shortage, which is the central area of concern (Duffield, 2013). The focus of CNAC should prioritize on the improvement of the nurses quality of work. This should include measures to adopt appraisal systems that will promote nursing recruitment and retention.

The federal government, under the liaison of provincial government, should advocate for the programs which promote Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and other nursing schools. For instance, through subsidizing of nursing education, enrollment in nursing. This will increase the number of young nurses entering nursing profession as compared to those retiring. This will enhance the solving of the crises emanating from aging workforce (Kolawole, 2010). Stakeholders in Canadas healthcare industry need to push for the implementation of effective nursing leadership approaches. This will ensure that the sect...

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