The author of this article is correct on many fronts. I can directly tie the nursing shortage to when for profit hospitals took over hospitals. Nurse staffing is the most expensive part of a hospitals budget, but instead of cutting executive salaries, for profit hospitals get rid not only of nursing staff, but ancillary staff as well, which makes the RN's workload even harder. These hospitals set their RN's up to fail by giving them an untenable and unsafe workload, computerized charting systems that take more time than their worth, and corporate doesn't allow any changes to this. RN's just have too much to do and too little time to do it in because of decreased staffing. This leads to increased stress on the RN, and when these unrealistic expectations are not met. When RN's are increasingly dissatisfied and stressed they leave the profession, and find other jobs that are more lucrative and have less stress. That's a win-win for the RN, but a huge loss for the patients.It's true that a happy nurse equals a happy patient, but for profit make that almost impossible.
When a for profit hospital is looking to save money they flog the heads of department or nurse managers to keep costs down below budget. These department heads then flog their staff by cutting staff, ancillary personnel, supplies, and increase the nurses workloads. When after a herculean effort the department does come in under budget, who enjoys the fruit of the RN's labor, not the nurse. The CEO makes an obscene bonus and the department heads or nurse managers enjoy a bonus as well which they don't share with the staff. Hospital's are quick to blame RN's for the medication errors, nurses getting ebola and anything else that they can think of instead of fixing the problems they have caused, and taking responsibility for the chaos that they have created. At one for profit that I know when patient satisfaction was down, not for anything that the nurses has done. the nursing staff was punished by taking 0.5% off of their annual merit raise. Is it no wonder that nurses are leaving the profession in droves, or unionizing so that they can get necessary protections for their patients. Talking about quality patient care is easy for these huge hospital systems, but rarely delivered.