It would be easy to mandate that a nurse can only have “X” amount of patients per shift, and hope for the best. This would work if all patients had the same needs, but patients come to different units with different needs and they are affected by illness in a myriad of ways. The first step in making a higher nurse to patient ratio would be to increase the amount of nurses per unit, but this should not be the end all solution. This is demonstrated in an article by Allen, (2013) that states along with “mandatory workloads” the...
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...ause of this there will more than likely be a greater need for more nurses in order to maintain a certain standard of care (Taylor, Lillis, Lynn, & LeMone, 2015, p. 19). The issue of making sure there are more nurses being educated in order to have an adequate pool of prospective nurses is a matter that should be addressed by legislation and healthcare institutions. However, the issue of creating proper workloads to the benefit of patients and nurses should be addressed before a potential shift is taken in the direction of filling in the void created by the loss of the baby boomer population within the workforce. Understanding the needs of patients and the duties of nurses helps create manageable workloads. This is an important realization that healthcare institutions will need to constantly assess and re-assess in order to maintain a higher standard of care.
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