As the COVID-19 case count surpasses one million patients, nurse leaders are faced with a grim equation: as the ratio of patients to nurses rises, the quality of nursing care decreases. There are valid concerns about the shortages of equipment that is used to care for coronavirus victims, like ventilators and PPE, but the truth is that without a sufficient nursing workforce to care for patients, outcomes will be poor regardless of equipment. 

It’s also important to note that nurse shortages can contribute to feelings of burnout in nurses. According to a recent Joint Commission report, “[t]he need to juggle competing priorities in often high-stress situations can result in feeling overwhelmed or burnout.” As nursing workload increases, feelings of burnout will increase too. Nurse burnout negatively affects the physical and emotional health of staff and contributes to rising costs.

This shortage becomes more concerning when considering how contagious the coronavirus is. Regardless of whether your facility is well-staffed now, nurses caring for patients on the frontline may need to be quarantined if they contract the virus. This puts facilities who are already struggling with keeping staff levels at a greater risk. 

Thankfully, some retired nurses and doctors are stepping up and returning to the workforce to care for COVID-19 patients. However, this will not do enough to completely remedy the shortages that facilities across the country will soon face.

In these uncertain times, PassportUSA is here to help. We can send BSN-ready international nurses to facilities, and through our Advance program, supplement your workforce with highly-experienced travel nurses until international nurses are ready to start. 

However, we know that our workforce solutions will not be enough to completely stop the spread of the virus. It is imperative that people wash their hands and practice social distancing. Together, we can flatten the curve of coronavirus and keep citizens and healthcare workers safe. 

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