Nurses today are facing many problems which they did not have ten years ago and which are posing threats to the nursing profession. One major problem that nursing leaders are facing is the continuous turnover of nurses because of difficulties in their current situation. Difficult situations which include reduced job opportunities and chances for growth, economic hardships, and insurance issues are causing great problems for nurses. Patient welfare in public hospitals is limited and because many people who cannot afford medical insurance and because of this these hospitals are overcrowded with a long waiting list of people for surgical procedures and treatment for other illnesses.
The government has implemented budget cuts in healthcare, mostly because of the growing aged populations who are usually on pensions, no longer productive but continue to need medical treatment. The increasing cost of medical treatment is not affordable by most of the population, and many nurses are losing their jobs because of the shrinking patient population in private hospitals. Strategies to be developed to solve these problems include making medical insurance affordable for patients especially the elderly who might not have the strength or capability to work as productively now as they did in their younger years. Home nursing is much cheaper than hospitalization and patients who can have disabilities which are not life threatening should be treated at home by trained and qualified nurses.
Besides providing viable opportunities for nurses, it will greatly reduce the pressure on public hospitals. When medical insurance is affordable, more patients will seek treatment at private hospitals and facilities thereby increasing the demand for nurses and nursing services The most common ethical issues for nurses are challenges in patient care. Nurses have a commitment to honor initial moral virtues, duties, and principles which are the basis of their profession. The healthcare environment is very challenging for nurses when nurses have multifaceted duties to perform due to the shortage of nursing staff.
This is a situation where ethical decisions need to be for the benefits of patient care and welfare. One very profound ethical issue that nurses face on a daily basis where they might question the values of attempts to save preserve a patient’s life so that his/her anguish is prolonged indefinitely even though the patient has absolutely no chances of recovery. The ethical issue that they face is that the time, money and effort expended on that patient can be utilized for saving a patient who has many useful years to live. Nurses are considerably affected because of such ethical dilemmas which add to their stress and pressures.