Assignment: Analysis of pertinent healthcare Issue
Assignment Analysis of pertinent healthcare Issue
Nurses should always work in safe and adequately-resourced healthcare settings. Failure to meet these fundamental requirements makes healthcare organizations stressful and threatens nurses’ comfort and ability to provide quality care. Although healthcare organizations strive to provide safe workplaces for healthcare professionals while supporting them in various ways, workplace stressors widespread in the United States are a huge setback. One such stressors is the nursing shortage, which has crippled patient care in many organizations. The purpose of this paper is to inform the management how the nursing shortage affects the work setting and appropriate intervention strategies as applied in other organizations.
Stressor’s Description and Impacts
The nursing shortage is a multidimensional problem in the United States affecting how and when patient care is offered. Its defining element is a supply that cannot match the current demand for nurses. Worse, the national demand for nurses is projected to rise progressively up to 2024, when the demand for registered nurses will rise by 16% (Weaver et al., 2018). Potential causes for this inevitable increment include an aging workforce, workplace stress triggering turnover, and nurses continuously leaving the practice to join other professions. The impacts are sweeping and regrettable since the quality of care is inversely proportional to the nurse-to-patient ratio. A high nurse-patient ratio increases the nurse workload leading to burnout. The same problem is witnessed in the current setting since burnout stemming from the nursing shortage triggers as high as 30% of turnover in the facility. Other impacts include increased susceptibility to committing medical errors, unhealthy workplace relationships, and lack of time for self-care.
Research Addressing the Nursing Shortage
The criticality of the nursing shortage in the United States has attracted a lot of attention from researchers, healthcare stakeholders, and policymakers. One of the articles from outside resources that have explored the nursing shortage in-depth is by Shah et al. (2018) on the prevalence and factors associated with nurse burnout in the United States. In this article, Shah et al. (2018) analyzed the damaging effects of nurse burnout as a leading consequence of the nursing shortage hampers patient care and professional relationships. The authors further outline the various interventions magnet hospitals use to cope with workplace stressors that can be applied in the current organization.
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The second article is by Ten Hoeve et al. (2020) on nurse turnover prevention. The article’s primary theme is that a nursing shortage hampers professional commitment and collegial support is instrumental in enabling nurses to cope with the detrimental effects of a nursing shortage in healthcare organizations. Generally, the articles underscore the importance of transformational leadership in nursing, whose role is changing culture to achieve better patient outcomes (Broome & Marshall, 2021). They demonstrate the need to embrace change and engage the workforce in transforming health practices to optimize patient outcomes.
Summary of the Strategies Used to Address the Nursing Shortage
The articles provide various strategies for addressing the nursing shortage in magnet hospitals and other organizations. Shah et al. (2018) underlined the importance of adequate nurse staffing and reducing workload by limiting the length of shifts. Since hiring adequate staff is usually an enormous administrative and financial challenge, magnet hospitals should maximally focus should be limiting the number of hours per shift. Doing so would give nurses ample time to engage in self-care and other activities that increase commitment. This approach coincides with the suggestion that improving employee well-being, as witnessed in Anne Arundel Medical Center, increases employee engagement hence reducing turnover (Jacobs et al., 2018). Collegial support helps nurses to overcome negative experiences in the workplace. It is achieved by leaders and supervisors increasing their commitment to improving the work environment to ensure that it is free from adverse events. Nurses should also be supported through professional growth opportunities and a work routine that promotes a positive work-life balance.
Impact on the Organization
The strategies suggested in the research articles may impact the organization both positively and negatively. From a positive dimension, reducing the lengths of shifts, promoting employee well-being, and providing growth opportunities have the potential to increase commitment to work. A highly committed workforce is less susceptible to nurse burnout hence low turnover. However, most of these alternatives require employee training and continuous support with educational resources. As a result, they would be financially burdening. Hiring new staff is equally a huge burden. However, healthcare leaders should increase their reliance of non-physician clinicians since the quality of care does not differ with what physicians provide (Auerbach et al., 2018). The only thing needed is supervision and continuous support.
Healthcare delivery faces many challenges that impede patient outcomes. The nursing shortage is a significant nursing stressor that hampers patients’ outcomes, workplace productivity, and relationships. The problem is prevalent in the current organization, and leaders should implement creative and lasting measures to mitigate its damage. Some of the most effective strategies, as proposed in the explored articles, include manageable workloads, promoting well-being, and providing growth and development opportunities. As highlighted, these practices have both positive and negative consequences, and leaders should adequately analyze them before making a choice.
Auerbach, D. I., Straiger, D. O., & Buerhaus, P. I. (2018). Growing ranks of advanced practice clinicians-implications for the physician workforce. The New England Journal of Medicine, 378(25), 2358-2360. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1801869
Broome, M., & Marshall, E. S. (2021). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). Springer.
Jacobs, B., McGovern, J., Heinmiller, J., & Drenkard, K. (2018). Engaging employees in well-being: Moving from the Triple Aim to the Quadruple Aim. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 42(3), 231-245. https://doi.org/10.1097/naq.0000000000000303
Shah, M. K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J. P., Ghose, N., Moore, M., & Ali, M. K. (2021). Prevalence of and factors associated with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA Network Open, 4(2), e2036469-e2036469.
Ten Hoeve, Y., Brouwer, J., & Kunnen, S. (2020). Turnover prevention: The direct and indirect association between organizational job stressors, negative emotions and professional commitment in novice nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 76(3), 836–845. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.14281
Weaver, M. S., Wichman, B., Bace, S., Schroeder, D., Vail, C., Wichman, C., & Macfadyen, A. (2018). Measuring the Impact of the home health nursing shortage on family caregivers of children receiving palliative care. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing: JHPN : The Official Journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, 20(3), 260–265. https://doi.org/10.1097/NJH.0000000000000436
Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
Healthcare organizations and nurses face increased number of complex issues that must be
addressed to enhance care delivery and meet patient needs. These issues range from nursing shortage, rising cost of care, changes in government policies and emerging infectious diseases leading declaration of pandemics like the COVID-19 pandemic. The shortage of nurses in healthcare facilities and the entire health system is a serious health issue that requires interventions at organizational and government level, both state and federal governments (Haddad et al., 2022). The purpose of this paper is to discuss nurse staffing shortage as a pertinent health issue and offer strategies at organizational levels to address it.
Nurse Staffing Shortage and Impact on the Organization
The American Nurses Association (ANA) asserts that more registered nurse jobs would be available through 2026 than any other profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that over 275,000 more nurses will be required within the health care sector to meet the rising needs till 2030 (Haddad et al., 2022). The implication is that nurse staffing shortage is a serious issue that affects nurses and healthcare organizations in different care settings, from inpatient facilities to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Further, Blouin and Podjasek (2019) assert that the rising demand for care emanates from healthcare reforms that include the positive effects of increased government-sponsored health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act 2010 and innovative care models like the value-based purchase (EBP) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). While investment in healthcare has increased, the staffing levels have not increased to meet the need. Furthermore, an aging population is also rising with many qualifying for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
In my organization, the available data shows that the rise in patient numbers has led to increased stress levels among nurses. The facility has considered using floating nurses in more than one unit. However, the intervention is not sustainable as these nurses are only there for a short while before they leave. Data also shows that while there have been no major patient safety events reported like serious medication errors, this situation is still precarious and requires better interventions. The data also show a number of missing nursing care which can have overall negative effects on patients and their overall outcomes.
Summary of Reviewed Articles on Nurse Staffing Shortage
Studies show evidence of the prevalence of nurse staffing shortage and its effects on patient care. In their study, Griffiths et al. (2018) explore the association between nurse staffing and adverse patient outcomes, especially mortality in inpatient facilities. The study indicates that nurses missed care and this leads to poor patient outcomes. The study is emphatic that having sufficient nurse levels is key to improving overall staff motivation and morale as well as reducing the nurse turnover rates.
Again, a study by Zhang et al. (2018) exposes the level of nursing shortage as well as its forecast and the associated negative effects. The authors forecast the South and the West regions of the country to have the most intense shortage leading to 2030. The study observes that nursing shortage will have significant effects on the nursing workforce, especially registered nurses who are considered the frontline care providers. These effects include increased burnout and stress as highlighted by Shah et al. (2021), high nurse turnover rates, and poor patient safety and quality outcomes. Wrong medication administration, missed care and compromised patient quality levels are also other outcomes of nurse staffing shortage.
Nurse Shortage Approach by Other Organizations
Existing evidence suggests that organizations are deploying innovative ways to address the nurse staffing shortage. These entities are leveraging technology to improve access to care and reduce possible burnout arising from increased demands. The use of informatics and electronic medical records (EMRs) as well as the deployment of telemedicine and telehealth are considered as effective ways of removing nurses from direct care areas (Haddad et al., 2022). Secondly, organizations are also striving to have better retention rates for their different cadres of nurses while they leverage innovative approaches like better scheduling and shifts for nurses.
Strategies to Address the Organizational Impact of Nursing Staff Shortage
Addressing the issue of turnover through effective and good leadership enhances retention levels and help organizations deal with nurse staffing shortage. According to Zhang et al. (2018), continuing education and leadership development are significant incentives for organizations and the healthcare sector to retain nurses and encourage others to join nursing schools. Having residency programs can help the organization deal with the nursing shortage as they will have a training initiative that helps them get nurses who are familiar and comfortable with the hospital and its culture. Griffiths et al. (2018) opine that organizational incentives and partnering with nursing schools can help providers deal with nurse staffing shortage. More fundamentally, organizations must motivate their staff and ensure that they can develop innovative ways to retain them by offering an organizational culture which values their efforts and recognizes them through rewards and other incentives.
These strategies may impact our organization positively in different ways. These include increased motivation and retention rates, quality patient outcomes for patients and better safety levels. The organization will also enhance its ability to get reimbursement from CMS (Auerbach et al., 2018) However, these strategies require the facility to allocate more resources for staff development and incentives. The organization may have to seek additional sources of revenue to meet the costs associated with implementing the interventions. However, the positive aspects are more than the negative outcomes for the organization. For instance, the number of medication errors will reduce and nurses may be willing to report such errors because they won’t be afraid of victimization and reprimand from nurse leaders and managers.
Nurse staffing shortage is a serious national health care stressor that affects not just organizations but the entire healthcare system. The issue raises serious concerns because of its negative effects on patient care and quality services as well as outcomes. Organizations must find evidence-based practice strategies to tackle the issue and improve the quality of care as proposed in this paper.
Auerbach, D. I., Buerhaus, P. I., & Staiger, D. O. (2018). Better late than never: Workforce
supply implications of later entry into nursing. Health Affairs, 26(1), 178-185.
Blouin, A. S., & Podjasek, K. (2019). The continuing saga of nurse staffing: Historical and
emerging challenges. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 49(4), 221-227.
Griffiths, P., Ball, J., Bloor, K., Böhning, D., Briggs, J., Dall’Ora, C., … & Smith, G. (2018).
Nurse staffing levels, missed vital signs and mortality in hospitals: Retrospective longitudinal observational study. Health Services and Delivery Research, 6(38).
Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P. & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2022). Nursing shortage. StatPearls
Shah, M. K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J. P., Ghose, N., Moore, M., & Ali, M. K. (2021).
Prevalence of and factors associated with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA network open, 4(2), e2036469-e2036469. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.36469
Zhang, X., Tai, D., Pforsich, H., & Lin, V. W. (2018). United States registered nurse workforce
report card and shortage forecast: A revisit. American Journal of Medical Quality, 33(3),
229-236. DOI: 10.1177/1062860617738328.
I will add an additional 10 hours to the time as an extension once I match with a tutor.
Competing needs arise within any organization as employees seek to meet their targets and leaders seek to meet company goals. As a leader, successful management of these goals requires establishing priorities and allocating resources accordingly.
Within a healthcare setting, the needs of the workforce, resources, and patients are often in conflict. Mandatory overtime, implementation of staffing ratios, use of unlicensed assisting personnel, and employer reductions of education benefits are examples of practices that might lead to conflicting needs in practice.
Leaders can contribute to both the problem and the solution through policies, action, and inaction. In this Assignment, you will further develop the white paper you began work on in Module 1 by addressing competing needs within your organization.
Review the national healthcare issue/stressor you examined in your Assignment for Module 1, and review the analysis of the healthcare issue/stressor you selected.
Identify and review two evidence-based scholarly resources that focus on proposed policies/practices to apply to your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
Reflect on the feedback you received from your colleagues on your Discussion post regarding competing needs.
The Assignment (4-5 pages):
Developing Organizational Policies and Practices
Add a section to the paper you submitted in Module 1. The new section should address the following:
Identify and describe at least two competing needs impacting your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
Describe a relevant policy or practice in your organization that may influence your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
Critique the policy for ethical considerations, and explain the policy’s strengths and challenges in promoting ethics.
Recommend one or more policy or practice changes designed to balance the competing needs of resources, workers, and patients, while addressing any ethical shortcomings of the existing policies. Be specific and provide examples.
Cite evidence that informs the healthcare issue/stressor and/or the policies, and provide two scholarly resources in support of your policy or practice recommendations.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS
Discussion Questions (DQ)
Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.
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