Nursing Shortage in the US

Capstone project – Nursing Shortage in the US

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As part of the capstone project, the focus will be on nurses’ shortage in the U.S. Healthcare delivery system in the U.S is facing an issue of nurses shortage. This issue affects the ability of nurses in the delivery of high-quality care to patients. This has created the need for addressing causes the shortage to ensure that patients in the US receive high-quality care. However, these causes are not yet clear. Several studies have been conducted with the purpose of identifying the cause of the shortage. Among the identified causes include job dissatisfaction and changes in economic activity. However, these studies differ in terms of research questions, and sample populations. Additionally, these studies have limitations. This calls for further research to determine the causes of the nurses’ shortage in the US. The following section provides a literature review of three articles. Specifically, a comparison of the research questions, sample populations, and limitations is provided as well as recommendation for further research.

A comparison of research questions

The research questions in the three articles are focused on understanding the shortage of nurses in the US. Although the questions are not stated clearly, they are identifiable in the study literature. The research question in the article by Cox et al., (2014) was determining the root problem of nurses’ turnover and assessing the factors driving the issue of nurses’ shortage in the US. The research question in Derby-Davis’ article was identifying factors contributing to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction and to the stay intent of nursing faculty teaching in BSN and graduate nursing programs.  On the other hand, the article by Johnson et al (2016) focused on understanding the apparent persistent shortage of registered nurses.

The general purpose of the three articles was determining the causes of the nurses’ shortage in the U.S. Therefore, the authors had a similar mission which is to have a clear understanding of factors causing the nursing shortage. However, the authors took a different way to realize their mission. Every article has taken a different approach to determining what causes the shortage. Cox et al (2014) focused on nursing turnover and the driving factors. Derby-Davis (2014) focused on job satisfaction, job dissatisfaction, and stay intent of nursing faculty in nursing programs. On the other hand, Johnson et al (2016) focused on the employment of registered nurses over variations in economic activity.

A comparison of sample populations

The three articles have different sample populations. Cox et al (2014) took a literature review approach. The articles were limited to English language and published between 2000 and 2013. Thirty-six articles were selected from original reviews, articles, and research studies. The study used various electronic databases in search of relevant articles including Academic Search Premier, Google Scholar, PubMed, EBSCOhost, and ProQuest. The study used an expert human resources professional was interviewed on the issue. Also, the study mined reputable websites. Similarly, Derby-Davis (2014) took a literature review approach. The search was also limited to the English language. However, ProQuest and EBSCO HOST were used as search engines. Different from Cox et al and Derby-Davis, Johnson et al (2016) conducted surveys. The study used data of nurses in Arizona as the sample population.

A comparison of the limitations of the study

The three articles have several limitations. The study by Cox e al (2014) had several limitations including potential publication and researcher bias, the bias in a number of utilized databases and sources, and in the time given in examining the topic. The study by Derby-Davis (2014) had the same limitations as that by Cox e al (2014). This is considering that the author took a literature review approach. Although the limitations are not stated, the research has a potential bias in publication, researcher bias, and in a number of examined sources. Also, the study by Johnson et al has potential limitations. The author used an ongoing survey approach in data collection. The approach is subject to positive response bias. Also, data were collected from one area and findings can therefore not be generalized.


In conclusion, it is clear that the U.S is facing the issue of shortage of nurses. This is affecting the quality of care delivered to patients. In several occasions, hospitals in the U.S have declared having open nursing positions. Covering the duties of the missing nurses lowers productivity associated with poor quality care. Several studies have been conducted with the purpose of determining the cause of this shortage. These studies have identified job dissatisfaction as the major cause of the shortage. However, these studies are not short of limitations. Potential limitations include researcher bias, publication bias, the bias in a number of used sources as well as response bias. Therefore further research is needed to clearly determine the root causes of the shortage of nurses in the U.S. This paper recommends further research in the root cause of nurses’ shortage in the U.S with focus on local, state, and federal health policy and or in workforce management. The sample population should be in a position to produce generalizable findings.


Cox, P., Willis, W., Coustasse, A. (2014). The American epidemic: The U.S. nursing    shortage and turnover problem. Paper presented at BHAA 2014, Chicago, IL.      Retrieved from               redir=1&article=1125&context=mgmt_faculty

Derby-Davis, M. (2014). The nursing faculty shortage: Predictors of job satisfaction and           intent to stay in academe. Retrieved from   access/the-nursing-faculty-shortage-2167-1168-3-221.php?aid=33532

Johnson W., Burtler, R., Harootunian, G., Wilson, B. (2016). The curious case of a persistent      shortage. Retrieved from

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