Ohio’s healthcare system is facing an extraordinary challenge. Simply, there are not enough nurses to serve the growing number of patients in our community. And the problem is only getting worse. By 2020 it is projected that we will face an unprecedented shortfall in experienced nurses, forcing hospitals to provide more care with considerably less qualified nursing staff.
Why is there such an alarming shortage of nurses? Nurses have lost the ability to balance their work with the rest of their lives. The Affordable Care Act, aging population, and nurse burnout are all factors. They're pressured into taking on significantly increased workloads, leading to unmanageable stress and early burnout. As nurses leave the profession in droves and fewer enter it, both patient care and patient satisfaction scores suffer greatly.
It doesn't need to be this way. If we take better care of those taking care of us, from giving nurses more control of their work lives to providing essential services that offer support in their personal lives, we can keep good nurses in the profession. We can ensure that our nurses are thriving and providing care that both our patients and hospitals require.