Four reasons why nursing standards have fallen in the last decade

4 mins read
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Reserving a career position is not the end of a professional journey because continuous learning is a prerequisite to achieving competency and excellence. It is even more crucial in professions that go through constant changes, such as healthcare.

It is why every professional must keep up with the field’s advancements and equip themselves accordingly, but it’s not that simple. Like many individuals, nurses also struggle to maintain a balance in their professional and private lives.

This means general issues of the healthcare sector have a direct bearing on the quality of the workforce, including nurses. 

As the healthcare sector has struggled to address various problems over the years, understaffing, knowledge gap, restrained resources, and swelling health issues are the most evident challenges today. 

Given a multitude of challenges, it is apparent why the nursing profession’s standards have fallen short. Even after years of experience, nurses do not achieve proficiency and struggle to cross professional barriers, while hospital management fails to contribute to policymaking. Even after putting in extra hours and double shifts, hard-working nurses do not receive additional compensation. 

The following sections discuss some reasons why nursing standards have fallen in the last decade.

  1.  Lower investment in nursing innovation

Research is crucial to explore shortfalls and bring innovation in the nursing field. It can help the professional acquire the needed knowledge and skills to improve nursing practice standards., which is why terminal degrees in nursing, such as an online dnp (doctor of nursing practice), focus on evidence-based training.

The program instills observatory skills in aspirants so they can investigate and interpret fields’ challenges thoroughly. The professionals also learn to understand various factors at once and identify their consequences on nurses’ performance. 

As such, they observe how the workplace environment, administrative support, nursing schedule, and patient outcomes correlate. Once they identify the intricate interconnection, they can suggest adjustments in the healthcare policies.

However, innovation is a long and resource-draining journey, and merely acquiring advanced and scholarly skills cannot revolutionize the field overnight. It means innovation in the nursing profession needs adequate investment. Otherwise, this profession will continue to function as per the traditional framework.

  1. Lack of scrutiny on educational institutes

Nursing is a serious profession, unlike other fields. As such, the performance of aspirants matters more in the practical arena than in the classroom. 

Thus, healthcare education spans from theory to practice and beyond. Given the journey’s arduous and lasting nature, not every institute can carry this weight successfully.

Unfortunately, nowadays, healthcare education is more like a business than a service to humanity. This sort of mindset compromises quality, which is why the healthcare system sometimes receives unskilled and unequipped professionals.

The situation is worrying in the nursing field. Aspirants merely go through theoretical knowledge and lack practical exposure and practice. The nursing curriculum also does not advance with the pace of the field’s advancements, leading to misalignment in the work environment.

In the end, nurses’ performance follows multiple mishaps once they land in the field. Only after countless trials and issues do they learn to perform basic procedures correctly. Without tighter scrutiny and accountability, they will continue to challenge the healthcare system and nursing services alike. 

Thus concerned stakeholders should increase vigilance on institutes that compromise on academic standards.

  1. Compromise on staff excellence

Even though the healthcare system has gone through drastic upheavals, it has not acquired systematic efficiency to prevent issues from emerging. As such, patients’ inflow continues to overload healthcare facilities and their resources. 

Its signs are visible in the form of deteriorating healthcare service and mismanagement while catering to patients.

Similarly, hospitals always prioritize commercial outcomes and attend to factors that facilitate revenue growth. As a result, healthcare experts receive more attention and relaxation than the nursing staff. They also get comprehensive packages where nursing staff can hardly make their ends meet.

Hospitals also strategize to retain patients than attending to nursing staff’s challenges. Over the years, nurses have merely managed to function than outperform. If this practice continues, the healthcare system will encounter more challenges in the coming years. Thus, even though nurses assist specialists, their proficiency and expertise are just as vital.

Hence, the nursing profession needs equal attention as doctors. Hospitals should create continuing development opportunities for nursing professionals to manage emergencies smoothly, even if they are unsupervised. 

The more they achieve professional excellence, the better they can contribute to patients’ well-being.

  1. Inattentive to workforce health

Since patients need undivided attention, the nursing staff follows the entire 24 hours’ schedule, divided into standard eight-hour shifts. Yet, a majority of the nursing staff are overworked due to a shortage of assistants. 

Similarly, the aging population and their health problems are further increasing work pressure. A few instances of such practice are adjustable but making it a routine falls in the malpractice category.

To date, the healthcare system can’t manage the problem and function without hiccups. As a result, mere workload gives rise to a multitude of health issues. 

Longer work duration and exertion lead to fatigue, muscular discomfort, and skeletal injuries in nurses. Lack of support and acknowledgment fosters stress, anxiety, and other psychological challenges in nurses.

In the end, they struggle on several fronts to continue their occupational journey. However, healthcare facilities lay more focus on the continuity of their businesses rather than workforce well-being. 

They tend to overlook and adjust minor errors in practice, but their impact can be damaging in routine.

It is why compromised nursing services highlight the underperformance of the entire healthcare sector. Thus attending to nurses’ health issues is a precondition to their professional excellence and quality performance.

Conclusion

Negligence is among the most fundamental issues that have led to the drastic underperformance of nursing professionals over the years. Thus, the healthcare system cannot delay addressing hindrances anymore. 

Otherwise, growing healthcare challenges will further complicate existing issues. Eventually, the system will not get enough break to re-identify and proceed with needed ramifications.

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