Nurse Staffing Essay

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Staffing and Scheduling The debate on safe and adequate nurse staffing has remained a growing and controversial issue in healthcare. The most important issue is determining a safe number of nurses that should ideally work on a unit. In an article by The Journal of Nursing Administration it is stated that, “over the course of the last decade, hospital restructuring, spurred in part by a move to managed care payment structures and development of market competition among health care delivery organizations, led to aggressive cost cutting. Human resources, historically a major cost center for hospitals, and nurse staffing in particular, were often the focus of work redesign and workforce…show more content…
This of course does not include the charge nurse; so therefore, a better number might be a 40 or 41 nurse total (Huber, 2010). Although I have made the calculations, it is worthwhile discuss the definitions of the variables within the calculation. For example, the variable FTE calculation is the way in which one derives the full time equivalents or employees necessary to achieve a given workload. The census/nursing hours FTE calculation is the second value I determined and involves more understanding of actual FTE productivity. Using the variable FTE calculation, I determined that 39.5 FTEs are necessary per day excluding the charge nurse. The former calculation (39.5) was larger, and I believe the calculations are different because the variable FTE has less nonproductive time included in the calculation. As I mentioned above, I would ask for the greater number of FTEs. I would arrange a meeting with the Chief Nurse by discussing the concerns of my staff regarding patient safety. I would also cite recent studies to rationalize the need for more FTEs. The first study out of the University of Pennsylvania looked at nurse “burn-out” and increased rate of patient infection. In the study, each nurse cared for an average of 5.7 patients. There were 8.6 catheter-related urinary tract infections for every 1,000 patients statewide. Adding one patient to a nurse 's
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