Effects of Nurse Staffing on Quality of Patient Care

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Background on Nurse Staffing

Nurse staffing and how it relates to the quality of patient care has been an important issue in the field of nursing for quite some time. This topic has been particularly popular recently due to the fact that there is an increasing age among those who make up the Baby Boomer era in the United States. There will be a greater need for nurse staffing to increase to help accommodate the higher demand of care. Although nursing is “the top occupation in terms of job growth,” there are still nursing shortages among various hospitals across America today. The shortage in nurses heavily weighs on the overall quality of care that each individual patient receives during their hospital stay (Rosseter, 2014).

There are various issues that arise with having a shortage among nurses in the hospital setting. Scientists have found that nursing shortages can lead to both complications during a patient’s hospital stay and in some cases patient mortality. This is due to the fact that nurses are unable to focus on proper care for each individual patient’s needs.

Assessment of Findings

Nurse Staffing and Inpatient Hospital Mortality

According to J. Needleman et al., “lower levels of staffing among registered nurses [in the hospital setting]” has shown an association with increased patient mortality. Scientists found that nurses experience a very high workload during their shift and this leads to “impairment on patient surveillance.” Nurses are given numerous patients during their single shift and are not able to balance the high patient turnover with proper patient care. High patient turnover was also associated with an increased risk for mortality rates. Scientists argue that hospitals are trying to cut health car...

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