Becoming An Inadequate Number Of Nursing Staff

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A great number of oncology clinics are currently experiencing an inadequate number of nursing staff. Within the last year, my career has taken me out of the clinical setting. However, reflecting on my time at Tennessee Oncology, nursing shortages gave reason for great concern. Due to a high turnover rate, Tennessee Oncology always seemed to be hiring. A variety of factors contribute to these staffing issues, such as, an influx of patients, unpleasant working conditions, declining quality of care, and decreasing enrollments in nursing programs. Oncology is facing a dire shortage of qualified nurses. To avoid a crisis, immediate action must be taken to educate and train nurses to meet the increasing need.
The oncology nursing shortage is expected to continue well into the future. According to the Oncology Nursing Society, “this shortfall will worsen as they expect the number of cancer patients to increase significantly over the next 15 years. At the same time, the number of qualified nurses is projected to drop sharply” (ONS, 2014). Typically, cancer is a disease found in aging adults. With baby-boomers now turning 65, the United States can expect to see a rising need for oncology nurses to care for the growing population of people with cancer. Nurses play an essential role in delivering quality care to cancer patients. Oncology nurses not only administer chemotherapy and supportive care to patients, but they also help patients cope with the physical and emotional trauma of a
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