The Importance Of Nurse Staffing

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Nurse staffing is a complex issue and one that has recently taken on a renewed importance. It is not a new issue and the Institute of Medicine released a report in 1996 that examined nurse staffing and patient safety. It is the purpose of this paper to show how improving nurse-patient ratios can help lead to better patient outcomes. One reason that a lack of nursing staff can lead to poor patient outcomes is because there is an aging workforce. “ The nursing workforce is aging and this leads to a decrease in the number of nurses that are available to work. However, the demand for nurses is not decreasing, but will in fact increase over the coming years. The CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health projected that in 2010, middle-aged and older workers would outnumber younger workers.4 Thus, baby boomer RNs (those born between 1948 and 1964) are now in what has been traditionally known as the retirement…show more content…
Nurse administrators and educators are challenged with the task of retaining these knowledgeable, skilled nurses while aggressively recruiting generation X and millenial nurses.” “The lack of qualified nurses increases the risk of poor patient outcomes that can have a direct effect on increased hospital costs. More important, nursing shortages have been linked to increased mortality, staff violence, accidents/injuries, cross infection, and adverse post-op events.” (Collins-McNeil, Sharpe , & Benbow, 2012, p. 50) Current literature also shows that another cause of potential poor quality patient care delivery is a result of nursing burnout. “Burnout clearly impacts on the mental health and well-being of nurses, which is most likely compromising productivity, performance and the quality of patient care.” (Khamisa, Oldenburg, & Ilic, 2015, p. 652). The growing demand for nurses also has an effect on quality patient outcomes. All of the issues discussed have a profound effect on patient
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