Top Problems in Nursing and How Leaders Can Address it

The truth remains that effective leadership is crucial in addressing these challenges and implementing strategies to overcome them. In this article, we explore some of the top problems in nursing and discuss how leaders can address them.

Nursing, as a profession, faces a multitude of challenges that can impact patient care, nurse well-being, and overall healthcare outcomes. A Lot of nurses, both student nurses and staff nurses have had their fair share of the challenges in their nursing career. From workplace bullying, to short staffing and even mental health challenges. For a fact, if nursing has effective leadership, we will have no problem or fewer challenges to deal with.

Top Problems in Nursing and How Leaders Can Address it

1. Staffing Shortages and Nurse Burnout: One of the most pressing challenges in nursing is staffing shortages, which often lead to increased workloads and nurse burnout. To address this issue, nurse leaders can implement strategies such as flexible scheduling, hiring additional staff, and providing resources for professional development and support. By ensuring adequate staffing levels and promoting a healthy work-life balance, leaders can mitigate burnout and improve nurse retention rates.

For example, in Nigeria today, almost every government hospital is shortstaffed, and the government is not hiring more nurses. Hence, a lot of nurses are overwhelmed with workload and unhealthy.

2. Workplace Violence and Safety Concerns: Workplace violence is not new. If it isn’t nurses versus medical doctors, it will be staff nurses versus matrons. Violence, no matter the offense of the junior nurse, is wrong in every way. Nurses are often exposed to workplace violence and safety concerns, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults. Nurse leaders must prioritize creating a safe and supportive work environment by implementing security measures, providing training on de-escalation techniques, and fostering a culture of zero tolerance for violence. Additionally, leaders across all sectors, including the nursing council, can advocate for policy changes and collaborate with other healthcare stakeholders to address systemic issues contributing to workplace violence.

3. Lack of Resources and Technology: Many healthcare facilities struggle with limited resources and outdated technology, which can hinder nurses’ ability to deliver quality care efficiently. Nurse leaders can advocate for increased funding and investment in healthcare infrastructure, including updated equipment and technology systems. Additionally, leaders can facilitate training and education programs to ensure nurses are proficient in using new technologies and maximize their benefits in clinical practice.

4. Scope of Practice and Autonomy: Nurses often face challenges related to their scope of practice and autonomy, particularly in environments where physician-centric models of care prevail. Nurse leaders can advocate for expanded scopes of practice, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, and empower nurses to take on leadership roles within healthcare teams. By advocating for policy changes and fostering a culture of respect and collaboration, leaders can help nurses fully utilize their skills and expertise to improve patient outcomes.

5. Workforce Diversity and Inclusion: Diversity and inclusion are essential components of a thriving nursing workforce, yet many healthcare settings struggle with a lack of diversity and barriers to inclusion. Nurse leaders can prioritize diversity initiatives, recruit and retain nurses from underrepresented backgrounds, and create inclusive policies and practices that promote equity and belonging. By embracing diversity and fostering an inclusive work environment, leaders can enhance team dynamics, improve cultural competence, and better meet the needs of diverse patient populations.

Frequent Ask Questions

What is the biggest challenge facing nursing leaders today?

Staff retention is one of the biggest issues facing many nurses in leadership roles today, according to a Health Leaders Media article.

What is the biggest problem in nursing today?

Which Are the Major Obstacles the Nursing Profession Faces?
The growing complexity of healthcare; public policy; legal and ethical issues; etc.
Scope of Practice: The precise duties and obligations that nurses are permitted to do are outlined in each state’s definition of the scope of practice for nurses.

How do nurses deal with difficult situations?

It is highly likely that you will interact with challenging patients or families in your role as a nurse. Instead of trying to avoid such situations, healthcare personnel should endeavor to find a solution. They would value your proactive and alert approach, which included listening to their concerns and offering solutions.

What is the greatest challenge that nurses face?

  1. Long shifts. Nurses often work 8- or 12-hour shifts. …
  2. Changing schedules. …
  3. Emotional involvement. …
  4. Physical demands. …
  5. Exposure to illness and chemicals. …
  6. Lack of nurses. …
  7. Changing technology. …
  8. Poor treatment from patients.

READ ALSO: Shift to Work While in Nursing School


In conclusion, addressing the top problems in nursing requires proactive leadership and a multifaceted approach that addresses staffing shortages, workplace violence, resource limitations, scope of practice issues, and workforce diversity. Nurse leaders play a pivotal role in advocating for policy changes, implementing innovative solutions, and fostering a culture of safety, respect, and inclusion within healthcare organizations. By addressing these challenges head-on, leaders can create environments where nurses can thrive, provide high-quality care, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

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