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The primary issue in this prompt is the concern that many nurses are being overworked due to the high patient-to-nurse ratio. The problem comes down to a few main issues, I believe: there is an increase in demand for nurses, nurses are in low supply, active nurses are working overtime more frequently, and there is a marked reduction in patient length of stay. Nurse overload is an issue is that it impacts patient care negatively. There have been studies, for example, that show a significant correlation between nurse staffing and certain illnesses, such as pneumonia. Lack of time, motivation, higher burnout rates, an increase in the occurrence of errors, and even potential violations of policy can be consequences of the nurse workload. Solutions to this problem need to consider the fact that changes in one element of system can affect others. I think policies need to focus on retention and recruitment. The first of these policies that I would advocate for is more widespread implementation of mandatory patient-to-nurse ratios and the prohibition of mandatory overtime. As demonstrated by the correlation between increased errors and certain illnesses, overtime and too many patients to care is not only unsafe, but it deters people from pursuing nursing as a career. Another policy that would alleviate the pressure would be to invest in schools to increase nurse educators and students. More needs to be done to attract nurses to the field to address the shortage. These could come in the form of scholarships, tuition support, or debt forgiveness. Incentives like these should in theory, attract more people to the field, and with the provisions protecting nurse health, the industry will see a gradual reduction in the burden of the current nurse workload.

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