Title

The Effects of Short Staffing on Patient Outcomes

Presenter Information

McKenzie CourtneyFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Nursing

Minor

N/A

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Marcia Hobbs, DNS, RN

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Adequate registered nurse (RN) staffing is a growing problem in healthcare facilities. Short staffing effects patient safety outcomes as well as satisfaction with nursing care. The problem of low nurse retention rates also contributes to short staffing which in turn effects the patient’s outcomes as well. Registered nurses should be able to focus on quality patient centered care. As nurse to patient ratios rise, the ability to perform well is diminished. Research has shown that this problem is effecting hospitals and patients are suffering from the short staffing of nurses. Through the evidence found from this research study, variables such as nurse to patient ratios, shift length (i.e. 8, 10, or 12), shift frequency, overtime, patient acuity, nurse education level (i.e. licensed practical nurse vs. registered nurse), hospital characteristics, work environment, and type of unit or illness have proved to have an effect on patient outcomes. There should be increased regulation of nurse to patios ratios and hours worked. The proposed policy consists of further orientation to units throughout the hospital, staffing based upon patient acuity, scheduling more part-time employees on call, improving work environment, and hiring more nurses educated at the bachelor level.

Keywords: short staffing, patient outcomes, registered nurses, nurse to patient ratio

Affiliations

Nursing

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The Effects of Short Staffing on Patient Outcomes

Adequate registered nurse (RN) staffing is a growing problem in healthcare facilities. Short staffing effects patient safety outcomes as well as satisfaction with nursing care. The problem of low nurse retention rates also contributes to short staffing which in turn effects the patient’s outcomes as well. Registered nurses should be able to focus on quality patient centered care. As nurse to patient ratios rise, the ability to perform well is diminished. Research has shown that this problem is effecting hospitals and patients are suffering from the short staffing of nurses. Through the evidence found from this research study, variables such as nurse to patient ratios, shift length (i.e. 8, 10, or 12), shift frequency, overtime, patient acuity, nurse education level (i.e. licensed practical nurse vs. registered nurse), hospital characteristics, work environment, and type of unit or illness have proved to have an effect on patient outcomes. There should be increased regulation of nurse to patios ratios and hours worked. The proposed policy consists of further orientation to units throughout the hospital, staffing based upon patient acuity, scheduling more part-time employees on call, improving work environment, and hiring more nurses educated at the bachelor level.

Keywords: short staffing, patient outcomes, registered nurses, nurse to patient ratio