Addressing Global Nursing Shortages: Causes, Impacts, and Solutions

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“Comparative Analysis of Nursing Shortage” by Lauren Littlejohn, Jacquelyn Campbell, and Janice Collins-McNeil

The authors of the article provide a comparative analysis of the problem of nursing shortage in three countries around the world, including the United States, the Philippines, and South Africa. Moreover, they offer a logical background of the issue by indicating that it has become a global challenge. Indeed, the article remains informative, as it recognizes the impacts that the nursing shortage has, including increased suffering of patients, as healthcare providers are not prepared sufficiently to care for their needs. Moreover, the authors support their point by providing relevant statistics from around the world and major examples that highlight the causes and impacts of the problem.

The research gap seems clear in this article, as it acknowledges the fact that despite shallow knowledge on the matter, little is known concerning the worldwide causes of the declining professional nurse workforce. The authors use an effective approach for this kind of scientific research following the rightful standards. The initial objective of the study was to investigate the notion that within each nation, the issue of nursing shortage is a result of several factors that ultimately lead to a decline in the quality of healthcare provided.

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The authors end up with relevant results that affirm their hypothesis that the problem in the three countries is diverse but has common effects on healthcare models. In this way, this article is quite critical and analytical, which means that it meets the requirements of standard scientific research that incorporates a current healthcare issue, which is the nursing shortage around the world.

Evaluation of Research Methods

The authors provide an informative literature review that incorporates a wide array of research resources. It is based on the work of four researchers by utilizing a peer-reviewed approach. Furthermore, the published literature was determined by looking for certain bibliographic databases, including Sage, CINAHL, PubMed, and OVID (Littlejohn et al., 2012). All the articles are from 2002 up to the publication date. The literature review is also restricted to major research topics that align with the main study area of nursing shortage.

Indeed, this is an effective approach in scientific research to avoid deviating from the main course. The authors achieved this by identifying the most critical topics, including global nursing shortage, international nursing, brain drain, as well as healthcare models (Littlejohn et al., 2012). The literature review is well organized to depict the major aspects of research, which are the causes and effects of the problem being addressed. The scholars do well by subdividing the section into three others to make it more coherent and comprehensible.

The diverse sub-sections achieve their targets, as they are connected with the main topic of nursing shortage. All of them attempt to bring out the comparative aspects of the research to allow a reader to understand the similarities and differences that exist between the three nations. In effect, the literature review is developed effectively, thus enhancing the article to meet its objective of providing sufficient knowledge on the subject.

The research article was published in 2012, which makes it current and relevant to modern health issues. The nursing shortage is a critical concern that is affecting nations around the world in today’s globalized system. The nurse-to-patient ratio in many countries is not within the required range. In this case, one nurse deals with many patients simultaneously, which can lower the efficiency and quality of healthcare. For instance, emergency departments require this ratio to be as small as possible to increase the speed and quality of care for critically ill patients (Cherry & Jacob, 2016).

However, this has not been the case today in many nations to the point where one nurse attends to more than nine patients. Therefore, the nursing shortage is a relevant and current issue that requires urgent attention. In fact, some nations, such as the United States, are encouraging diploma nurses to undertake degree courses to increase their knowledge and be able to meet the current requirements of a diverse and dynamic environment (Cherry & Jacob, 2016). Other emerging issues, including an increasingly elderly population that seeks medical attention, are an indication of increased complexity in the healthcare sector. Essentially, the article articulates major and significant information that meets the needs of the current healthcare sector.

The authors applied the peer-reviewed search approach to conduct their empirical literature analysis. The scholars looked at already published literature by identifying different bibliographic databases. All the information obtained was aimed at depicting the comparative factors among the three nations of interest, including South Africa, the Philippines, and the United States (Littlejohn et al., 2012). The text relies on a wide array of empirical evidence from already-done research.

The authors also had a timeline that they followed to ensure that all the data that they obtained was up to date and aligned with the research problem. Just as required in comparative analysis, the major points should come out clearly to depict either the differences or similarities of the aspects. The scholars achieved this in their research method, as they focused on the effects and causes of nursing shortages in the three nations. Therefore, the approach of study used in the article fits this kind of scientific investigation.

The population identified for this research was a nursing shortage in three nations. The sampling was quite structured, as it was restricted to scientific databases, including OVID, Sage, PubMed, and CINAHL (Littlejohn et al., 2012). The approach restricted researchers from obtaining widely varying data. However, it enables one to get concise information that can be easily compared to determine the efficiency it carries.

The sampling method used for this research was appropriate in the sense that it represented three major continents, including America, Africa, and Asia. Indeed, this was a wise selection by the authors to ensure that they showed rich knowledge regarding the issue of nursing shortage. The samples identified for this research also represented large populations of the three continents. The selection was also an indication that the issue of nursing shortage is widely affecting both developed and developing nations. Thus, the sampling method was quite an effective one, as it covered a wide representation of major aspects not only in the three countries and continents but also around the world.

The article represents a practical work executed by professional scholars. The authors suggest that understanding the nursing shortage is important, as it helps understand the causes and effects that it brings around the world. The authors are keen to note that the results are quite relevant in the modern world, as they showcase the ongoing issues in the healthcare sector. Understanding the varying causes of nursing shortages in various nations is quite practical since different regions are affected by diverse issues.

Most importantly, the authors acknowledge this by depicting what affects diverse countries, which is a representation of three continents. The work is also practical since it indicates that the effects are similar despite the diverse causes of the problem (Littlejohn et al., 2012). It is an indication that the consequences are being felt far and wide; thus, there is a need to seek urgent solutions for this issue. Therefore, the authors present a logical article that develops practical factors associated with the nursing shortage as a global problem.

Every research has its limitations, which are indications that it can be improved. The authors of this text only provided recommendations for both the United States and South Africa. Essentially, it means that they left out the Philippines. It is also evident that they suggested that their recommendations exceed the limitations of the research. Therefore, there are improvements that should be made, including highlighting suggestions for finding solutions in the Philippines. Furthermore, the authors should have laid down a platform for future research on the topic of the nursing shortage that keeps on developing nowadays. In fact, it is a wide subject that requires deep analysis and study to help reach final solutions that would help resolve it.

The writing in the article is clearly straightforward, as the authors have laid down critical matters surrounding the nursing shortage in the three countries. The language used is comprehensible and easy to understand. The materials used can be accessed easily from the mentioned databases. Furthermore, scientific terminologies help understand the meanings. In other words, the entire research presents readers with an efficient platform where they can obtain relevant knowledge on the topic.

Further research can be conducted regarding this topic, especially on nurse-to-patient ratio. In such a case, a researcher can decide to explore the effect of nurse-to-patient ratio on healthcare quality and delivery. Moreover, there can also be the determination of the reduction or increment of the ratio in emergency or critical care departments. Such studies would be relevant to have a better understanding of the issue of nursing shortage in the world.


In general, the article presented in this critique is a relevant and logical one, as it addresses a current healthcare issue not only in the three countries but also around the world. It is an up-to-date resource, as it was published in 2012. The strength of the literature review comes out clearly, as the article is analytical and uses reliable databases for the review of resources. The method used has been highlighted clearly in the article, which fits the nature of the research done. The sampling is also a major representation of a wide array of populations representing three major continents. Essentially, the article is quite effective.


  1. Littlejohn, L., Campbell, J., & Collins-McNeil, J. (2012). Comparative Analysis of Nursing Shortage. Journal of Global Health Care Systems, 2(3), 1-15.
  2. Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2016). Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends, & Management (7th ed.). Elsevier.

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Addressing Global Nursing Shortages: Causes, Impacts, and Solutions. (2023, Aug 30). Retrieved from

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