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Nursing Challenges in the 21st Century

Nurturing through upkeep and loving bonds fixes human society. The nursing field has many heartfelt stories to share and a wide range of difficulties. Even with its advancement and modernization, the American healthcare system is undergoing significant changes. Nurses are crucial in the healthcare industry as they provide patient care and have leadership roles in hospitals, health systems, and other administrative settings. The discussion will focus on the challenges experienced by nurses, including shortage of staff, long working hours, workplace health hazards, societal issues, and financial constraints. Also, the conversation will explain the importance of these challenges in healthcare.

Understaffing is one of the major problems that modern nurses face. Due to an apparent staffing deficit in hospitals, nurses are required to perform tasks other than nursing. This results in a low nurse-to-patient ratio and more nurses attending to patients than is reasonable (Challinor et al., 2020). The patient-nurse relationship is hampered by the excessive workload that nurses are under. Inequality in the nurse-to-patient ratio and workforce principles to unmanageable patient load The nurse-to-patient ratio is vital to maintain since it dramatically impacts how patient care is delivered. Patients die, contract infections, sustain injuries, or are sent home too soon when nurses are required to work with high nurse-patient ratios and have inadequate training on how to take care of their illnesses.

A short recruitment strategy in a healthcare setting frequently results in long workdays and staff nurse turnover. It is clearly having a negative impact on the nurses’ health. When a nurse is physically and mentally worn out, it can be challenging to provide coordinated nursing care (Pittman, 2019). Because of understaffing, nurses are forced to work long hours and perform tasks outside their areas of expertise, leaving them with little time to perform their actual duties. They overspend on nursing-related tasks, such as inventory, record keeping, and billing.

Nurses risk developing health risks related to their jobs if appropriate precautions and upkeep are not followed. Nurses face various biological, physical, and chemical hazards (Bayliss-Pratt et al., 2020). Nurses often arrive at work with serious illnesses, and their safety is not given priority. In this sense, nurses are more likely to contract fatal illnesses that could ultimately result in their death.

Various societal concerns surrounding nurses in their jobs, for instance, lack of acknowledgment by other professions, are a concern to the profession. Nurses are highly qualified professionals who complete professional courses and training to become certified. However, many view them as uneducated, morally dubious women who serve as maids (Bayliss-Pratt et al., 2020). They believe they still need to receive the acknowledgment that they are due. They have experienced severe discomfort regarding their status and have been acutely aware of its injustice as a result of the disconnect between who they consider themselves and what other people perceive of them. The issue of gender and stereotypes still exists, as nursing is still perceived as tender, feminine, and unproven labor, a long cry from the highly educated and skilled realities of the field today (Bayliss-Pratt et al., 2020). Men make up a small percentage of the workforce and are overrepresented in positions and ethnic groups as a result of this. Consequently, this has exacerbated issues like inadequate hiring and retention.

Nurse remuneration persists despite the amplified workload and necessity of nurses functioning as caretakers. The private sector needs more uniformity and pays more. Many are required to sign a bonded agreement that links them to that facility inexorably, and breaching the contract frequently entails paying a large sum of money to be released, according to Lee et al. (2019). If not, the hospital administration owns all of their certifications. In this sense, nurses’ pay for their labor is unfair.

These issues that impact nurses drive improvements in healthcare to make room for fresh approaches to reducing nursing difficulties. Only in healthcare contexts are new tactics pertinent to regaining competence and dignity. These difficulties are essential for creating environments that support nurses. Due to understaffing, additional nurses are required to meet the demanding demands. Nursing challenges are what promote healthy work settings. These difficulties also guarantee supplies and tools for the job and encourage payment to nurses who work overtime to please the patients. Strategies are taken into account to guarantee the advocacy and safety of nurses. For example, there is a need for more public support for nurses’ activism. In order to achieve changes in regulations controlling work settings and individual requirements, nurses encountering these issues are leading the way in healthcare conversations. These disadvantages are considered to offset additional shortcomings in the healthcare system and guarantee innovative approaches to lessen nursing obstacles.

In conclusion, the public and patients have a right to the most excellent care and services medical professionals provide. Only a highly motivated and equipped team will be able to accomplish this. These challenges will put nurses at the forefront of addressing health issues of the twenty-first century by enabling them to reach their full potential and address issues of delivering high-quality healthcare, advancing gender equality, and fostering economic prosperity. Meeting the needs of nurses and overcoming their obstacles can empower, inspire, challenge, and validate them to keep striving for excellence without hindrance.


Bayliss‐Pratt, L., Daley, M., & Bhattacharya‐Craven, A. (2020). Nursing now 2020: the nightingale challenge. International Nursing Review, 67(1), 7–10.

Challinor, J. M., Alqudimat, M. R., Teixeira, T. O., & Oldenmenger, W. H. (2020). Oncology nursing workforce: challenges, solutions, and future strategies. The Lancet Oncology, 21(12), e564-e574.

Lee, E., Daugherty, J., & Hamelin, T. (2019). Reimagine healthcare leadership, challenges, and opportunities in the 21st century. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 34(1), 27–38.

Pittman, P. (2019). Activating nursing to address unmet needs in the 21st century.

Writer: Mark Robson
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