Exploring the Origins of the Nurse Staffing Crisis
Talk of a “nursing shortage” has become ubiquitous during the Covid-19 pandemic. In reality, there is no shortage of nurses in the U.S., only a shortage of nurses willing to risk their licenses or their patients’ lives by working in the unsafe conditions that have become prevalent in today’s hospital industry. Covid-19 has exacerbated a staffing crisis, decades in the making, as health care corporations have deliberately understaffed hospitals to cut costs and prioritize profits over safe working conditions and patient care.
This course will examine the root causes of the so-called nursing shortage, including the increased corporatization of health care and the continued devaluation of nursing labor that has left our health care system ill-equipped to handle public health threats like Covid-19. We will analyze the compounding effects of deliberate understaffing practices, from hazardous working conditions, harrowing moral distress, and escalating racial and gender inequity for nurses and patients. Finally, the class will offer a range of structural solutions to this manufactured crisis rooted in the demand for safe, sustainable, and equitable workplaces.
Objectives: After this class, participants should be able to:
- Identify the structural problems that have driven short staffing in the hospital industry.
- Assess the impacts of the manufactured staffing crisis, including worse patient outcomes, high nurse turnover rates, and dangerous working conditions.
- Articulate possible solutions to the staffing crisis.
Instructors: Kel Montalvo-Quiñones
This will be a 2-hour online class via Zoom for 2 hours of continuing education credits.
After registering, you will receive an invitation to the Zoom class via email. It is important that you respond to the invitation and register for the Zoom class prior to the day of the class.
CE courses are free to National Nurses United members. Classes are only offered to direct-care and staff RNs.