The High Nurse-Patient Ratios

Table of Contents


Organizational change “is relevant towards promoting the best practices” (Hussain, Rivers, Glovert, & Fottler, 2012, p. 43). Such a change will ensure every health institution provides quality services to its patients. Our health organization is facing a major problem. I have collaborated with my Nurse Leader (NL) to identify the major issue affecting the institution. The targeted problem affecting our facility is the high nurse-patient ratio. This ratio continues to affect the quality of health services availed to different patients. New problems have also emerged in the facility. This problem is also common in different health facilities across the nation. A powerful change is critical towards improving the performance of our facility.

Context in which the Problem is Observed in the Facility

Jennings (2012) believes that “the inappropriate patient-nurse ratios can cause negative outcomes for clients and caregivers” (p. 3). The targeted health institution has a small number of medical practitioners. Such caregivers are expected to provide quality care to their patients. The institution encourages its caregivers to work more hours. The level of mortality has also increased significantly within the last two years. The nurses in the institution are unable to address the changing demands of their patients. The study has also identified new challenges such as job dissatisfaction and burnout. These problems explain why the rate of turnover has increased significantly in our health institution. The facility has a small number of clinicians. Such caregivers are unable to provide quality services to different patients. The problem has also resulted in absenteeism and lack of morale. These problems have made it impossible for the facility to provide adequate patient care.

Description of the Problem

High nurse-patient ratios can affect the quality of medical care. The situation in our facility explains why different workers have been unable to support their patients. Such ratios force more nurses to work more hours. The workers have also become exhausted. Their health contributions have decreased due to exhaustion. This ratio discourages such health practitioners from providing evidence-based healthcare. The level of job dissatisfaction has continued to rise. The “caregivers do not have proper work-life balances” (Hussain et al., 2012, p. 49). Such aspects affect the quality of care availed to different patients. This problem has made it impossible for many patients to get quality care.

Impact of the Problem

The above problem has numerous implications. To begin with, nurse shortage affects the quality of care provided to the targeted clients. Such nurses are expected to support the needs of many patients. Such patients failed to receive the best medical care. The working environment became less conducive due to increased pressures. What is more, the staff is forced to work overtime. That results in dissatisfaction thus encourages them to quit their jobs. The workers also ignored the needs of their patients (Hussain et al., 2012). The malpractice has resulted in poor patient outcomes and high mortality.

Significance to Nursing Profession

High nurse-patient ratios can have numerous implications on nursing. Nurses should be empowered in order to deliver the best results. Such nurses should also get enough time to rest (Jennings, 2012). They should also “address the needs of a reasonable number of patients” (Jennings, 2012, p. 4). This knowledge can be used to revolutionize the field of nursing. Policymakers and Health Leaders (HLs) should consider the benefits of this information. The targeted institution continues to face numerous health problems. The wider nursing field can embrace new measures in order to deal with the above problem. A proper strategy should focus on the best staffing processes. Such processes will “eventually deal with job dissatisfaction, burnout, and stress” (Littlejohn, Campbell, Collins-McNeil, & Khayile, 2012, p. 25). Every patient will eventually get the best medical care.

Solution to the Problem

Research Question: How can effective staffing be used in the nursing profession to ensure every health institution has enough nurses to provide quality patient care?
Focus of the Question: This question focuses on the best practices and policies towards increasing the number of healthcare practitioners in different nursing facilities.
PICO(T) Elements
P = Problem Lack of enough nurses will affect the quality of care availed to different patients. This situation makes it impossible for many caregivers to offer competent services.
I = Intervention Proper staffing approaches will attract and hire more nurses. Such nurses will be ready to offer quality patient care.
C = Comparison No comparison is needed.
O = Outcome The targeted outcome is ensuring every nurse provides quality health care to the targeted patients. The approach will also ensure more patients get quality health services.
T = Time Positive results should be obtained within three months after the implementation process.


The above PICOT approach will ensure our institution hires more nurses and caregivers. Such caregivers will be equipped with the most appropriate skills in order to provide quality healthcare to their patients. The level of job dissatisfaction will also reduce within the shortest time possible (Littlejohn et al., 2012). This strategy will present better working conditions. The approach will eventually produce the best outcomes. The use of proper recruitment and staffing strategies will encourage more students to join the nursing profession. The process will eventually support the health needs of many patients.

Reference List

Hussain, A., Rivers, P., Glovert, S. & Fottler, M. (2012). Strategies for Dealing with Future Shortages in the Nursing Workforce: A Review. Health Services Management Research, 25(1), 41-47.

Jennings, B. (2012). Work Stress and Burnout among Nurses: Role of the Work Environment and Working Conditions. Web.

Littlejohn, L., Campbell, J., Collins-McNeil, J. & Khayile, T. (2012). Nursing Shortage: A Comparative Analysis. International Journal of Nursing, 1(1), 22-27.

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