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Optimal Nurse Staffing to Improve Quality of Care


The proposal deals with the necessity to avoid the lack of experienced nursing professionals. It is emphasized that a range of critical changes are required in order to enhance the situation. The need to develop this evidence-based practice project can be proved by quality, clinical, and financial aspects that should be taken into account.

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Quality Aspect

First of all, the proposed project is expected to affect the quality of health care services. Nurse understaffing leads to the necessity to increase workload, which puts professionals under constant pressure. First of all, nurses need to work with a greater number of patients, which prevents them from spending enough time with each of them (Avalere Health LLC, 2015). In addition to that, inexperienced professionals need more time to maintain the same actions as experienced ones. Some start trying to fulfill their daily tasks faster, which makes them less attentive and increases the possibility to make a mistake. In some cases, nurses may be obliged to take additional shifts or stay at work longer. As a result, they get tired and become clumsy. They can hardly provide required care in the emergency situation in such a situation. Proper staffing can increase the quality of care improving patient safety, as experienced professionals work faster than inexperienced ones. In addition to that, the absence of understaffing ensures that they have the possibility to maintain their duties appropriately.

Clinical Aspect

Such drawbacks in the quality of healthcare lead to adverse health outcomes for patients. Both lack of experienced nursing professionals and the fact that they overwork increase the possibility of overlooking some health-related issues. For example, a patient may experience critical symptoms not regularly so that a lot of attention is needed to notice them. However, due to the necessity to spend more time with other individuals or failure to differentiate the issue, nurses can fail to cope with them. As a result, a proper diagnosis may be made too late. It is also possible that a patient requires some routines intervention, such as catheter care and changing. If professionals maintain these processes later than needed or in a wrong way, a patient may get an infection, which is sure to affect his/her health adversely. Thus, the required number of experienced nurses working in a healthcare facility is likely to improve the clinical aspect of care. Patient outcomes should be better because nurses are able to accomplish all tasks on time. What is more, they tend to have enough skills and knowledge to avoid possible complications.

Financial Aspect

In addition to that, poor health outcomes tend to make health care services more expensive. Costs of treatment increase with the course time so that it becomes more difficult to get required interventions for one and the same disease (Eaddy, Cook, O’Day, Burch, & Cantrell, 2012). Moreover, there is a possibility that a patient faces complications or additional diseases because of the obtained healthcare services of poor quality. In this way, expected costs can increase enormously as well. However, appropriate nurse staffing allows minimizing the costs of health care services, as it ensures that all required interventions are maintained appropriately from the very beginning.

Thus, the proposed project is likely to cope with these issues because it triggers changes within nurse staffing and shares the information regarding the necessity to have enough nurses working in a healthcare facility.


Avalere Health LLC. (2015). Optimal nurse staffing to improve quality of care and patient outcomes. Web.

Eaddy, M., Cook, C., O’Day, K., Burch, S., & Cantrell, R. (2012). How patient cost-sharing trends affect adherence and outcomes. Pharmacy & Therapeutics, 37(1), 45-55.

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