Major studies in the last three decades have confirmed an association between the registered nurse to patient ratio and adverse patient outcomes such as mortality, morbidity, length of stay, failure to rescue (Hunt 19). For example, bed sores or patient falls, are considered an adverse outcome because it is a complication that occurred after the patient was admitted to a healthcare facility, Nonetheless, the key to
According to my literature review, the workplace of many hospitals can be physical and emotionally demanding due to cutting staff and other resources to meet the budget (Mensik & Nickitas, 2015). Disparities in nurse satisfaction can impact turnover and generally the hospital profitability. Nurses who are satisfied are more likely to remain with their current employer which would reduce the costs of training and hiring new nurses (Everhart, Neff, Al-Amin, Nogle, & Weech-Maldonado, 2013). When it comes to the budget, looking at the overall picture regarding staffing is needed. Recruitment is needed and is an integral part of staffing. Hospitals have a large budget to recruit, whether those funds are used for marketing at various nursing schools, internship programs, scholarship programs, sign on bonuses, or even offering a bonus to staff for bringing in new employees, the amount of money spent can be
Nurse staffing and how it relates to the quality of patient care has been an important issue in the field of nursing for quite some time. This topic has been particularly popular recently due to the fact that there is an increasing age among those who make up the Baby Boomer era in the United States. There will be a greater need for nurse staffing to increase to help accommodate the higher demand of care. Although nursing is “the top occupation in terms of job growth,” there are still nursing shortages among various hospitals across America today. The shortage in nurses heavily weighs on the overall quality of care that each individual patient receives during their hospital stay (Rosseter, 2014).
Mandatory nurse-patient ratios have been a controversial topic facing nurses for decades. Nurses, patients, physicians, nursing organizations, researchers, hospitals, federal government, and state governments have opposing views in regard to mandatory nurse-patient ratios. Those that support the idea of mandatory nurse-patient ratios believe that there would be an improvement in quality of patient care, decreased nursing shortages, increased job satisfaction, decreased client hospitalization, and increased nurse recruitment (Pamela Tevington, 2012). Groups that oppose mandatory nurse-patient ratios believe that mandatory staffing laws ignore factors such as the level of care a patient requires from a nurse, treatments, length of hospitalization, improvements and differences in technology, the expense of an increased nursing staff, and nurse experience and education (Tevington, 2012).
One can wonder if there is any correlation between patient-nurse ratio and it’s effect on patient safety. In the research conducted by Jack Needleman and his associates (2002), they examined the relationship between amount of care provided by the nurse and compared it to patient outcome. The result showed that the increase amount of time a nurse is able to spend with the patient better the quality of care is. The data for this research was collected from seven hundred and ninety-nine hospitals across eleven states. This covered both medical and surgical patients that were discharged and the data was evaluated the relationship between the time provide to the patients by the nurses and patients’ outcome. As research showed,
Current nurse-to-patient ratios is a topic that has constant focus on today’s patient outcomes and safety. There have be many studies and there continues to be studies done on how a higher nurse to patient ratio effects not only patient and nurse safety and patient outcomes once they leave the hospital, but also patient mortality rates as well. When a nurse has been assigned more of a patient load than they can safely handle, whether it be because of a large patient volume or patient acuity, patients suffer and the quality of care declines. With the higher ratio,
The purpose of this article is to discuss appropriate nurse staffing and staffing ratios and its impact on patient care. Although the issue is just not about numbers as we discuss staffing we begin to see how complex the issue has become over the years. Many factors can affect appropriate nurse staffing ratios. As we investigate nurse staffing ratios we can see the importance of finding the right mix and number of nurses to provide quality care for patients.
There are many challenges facing today’s nursing leaders and managers. From staffing and scheduling, to budget cuts and reduced reimbursements, today’s nursing leaders must evolve to meet the ever changing health care environment. Constance Schmidt, Chief Nursing Officer at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC), identified retaining experienced registered nurses (RN) as one of the biggest problems she faces as a nursing leader. She went on to state “Nationally, most hospitals have more than 60% of their nurses with at least 5 years of experience. At CRMC, it’s the reverse. We have more than 60% of our nurses with less than 5 years of experience” (personal communication, March 28, 2014). The two largest factors affecting those numbers are the nursing shortage and nursing retention. The first, the nursing shortage, was identified years ago and has been researched countless times. Some projections indicate the number representing the gap between available registered nurses, and the positions needing to be filled, could be over a million before the end of the current decade. The latter, retention of nurses, is a problem in every health care facility in the nation. Nursing turnover results in both a significant financial cost to hospitals, and a significant impact on the community through its effects on patient outcome.
For over a decade researchers have been performing studies examining the effects patient-to-nurse ratios have on adverse outcomes, mortality rates, and failure-to-rescue rates of patients and on job dissatisfaction and burnout experiences of nurses. Aiken, Sloane, Sochalski, and Silber (2002) performed a study which showed that each additional patient per nurse increased patient mortality within 30 days of admission by 7% and increased failure-to-rescue by 7% as well. This same study also showed that each additional patient per nurse resulted in a 23% increase in nurse burnout and a 15% increase in job dissatisfaction. Additionally, Rafferty et al. (2007) performed a study in which the results showed that patients in hospitals with higher patient-to-nurse ratios had a 26% higher mortality rate and nurses were twice as likely to have job dissatisfaction and experience burnout. Blegen, Goode, Spetz, Vaughn, and Park (2011) performed a study where results showed that more staffing hours for nurses resulted in lower rates of congestive heart failure morality, infection, and prolonged hospital stays. The same study also showed that increased nursing care from registered nurses resulted in lower infection and failure to rescue rates and fewer cases of sepsis.
Mandatory staffing ratios have been suggested as a way to meet nursing staffs’ concerns of high nurse to patient ratios. Mandatory staffing ratios are used as a way to reduce workload and patient mortality and are aimed at addressing the perceived imbalance between patient needs and nursing resources. (American Nursing Association, 2014). However, issues have been raised on applicability of staffing ratios since it could lead to increased costs without the guarantee of improvement in the quality of health care and could also lead to unintended consequences including unit closures, limited infrastructural development and limited access by patients (American Nursing Association, 2014).
In an excellent movie from 1992 entitled “A Few Good Men” U.S. Navy Colonel Nathan Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) tells U.S. Navy Lt. Lawyer Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise) 3 lines in the dramatic conclusion of a court trial involving a murder of a U.S. Marine. These 3 phrases could be used by nurse managers across the country when they are caught between representing their front line nursing staff and trying to appease upper management personnel during hospital budget discussions. The 3 lines are: “You need me on that wall, you can’t handle the truth, and YES I ordered the CODE RED”. If you have seen the movie you might agree with the analogy. If you have not seen the movie, but are a nurse, more
Several studies have shown that patients get well faster and safer when they receive more nursing care. Even more importantly according to Linda Aiken study (2003), mortality rates and staffing ratios are closely tied. Each additional patient per RN after four patients, chances of dying in the hospital is increased by 7%.Patient on a surgical unit with patient –RN ratio of 8:1 were 31% more likely to die within 30days than those on surgical units with ratios of 4:1.Studies have shown that more infections like UTI, pneumonia, shock or cardiac arrest increases when patients receive fewer hours of nursing care. Medication errors and unsafe hand washing techniques were found more in increased patient workloads. Unsafe staffing gave more job dissatisfaction, job burnout and more nurses quit or drove nurses away from nursing. This increased mandatory overtime and increased nurse shortage. According to survey of California state
In recent years, the healthcare industry has seen a significant decline in the quality of patient care it provides. This has been the result of reduced staffing levels, overworked nurses, and an extremely high nurse to patient ratio. The importance of nurse staffing in hospital settings is an issue of great controversy. Too much staff results in costs that are too great for the facility to bear, but too little staffing results in patient care that is greatly hindered. Moreover, the shaky economy has led to widespread budget cuts; this, combined with the financial pressures associated with Medicare and private insurance companies have forced facilities to make due with fewer
The article I chose examines the effects that the nurse staffing variables of daily average hours of care, ratio of RNs to average patient census, workload, skill levels, and patient outcomes by comparing and measuring them against five adverse occurrences. The adverse patient occurrences were unit rates of patient