The significance of appropriate nurse staffing in enhancing patient outcomes and mitigating nurse burnout is well-documented. Inadequate nurse staffing can lead to negative consequences, including burnout, decreased nurse retention, and potential safety risks (Shin et al. 2018; Wynendaele et al. 2019) Research has also established a strong connection between nurse-to-patient ratios, well-being, and job dissatisfaction among nursing staff (Andel et al. 2021; Thompson-Munn et al. 2021).
Given this evidence, there is a compelling rationale for aligning nurse staffing ratios with proposed federal standards to address burnout, improve well-being, and enhance patient outcomes. Implementing these changes necessitates careful planning and assessment. The first step involves evaluating current nurse-staffing ratios in healthcare settings, considering factors like patient acuity, workload, and available resources. Identifying the gaps between current and proposed ratios is crucial. Strategies can then be devised to address these gaps, which may involve hiring more staff, redistributing workloads, or implementing technology solutions. The engagement of key stakeholders, including nurses, nurse managers, and healthcare administrators, is essential in this process.
The subsequent phase requires evaluating the impact of adjusted nurse-staffing ratios on both nurse and patient outcomes. This evaluation encompasses quantitative measures such as assessing nurse burnout and patient safety indicators, as well as qualitative measures like interviews and surveys to gather feedback from nurses and patients about their experiences with the new ratios.
The projected time frame for this project is three months, and its cost-benefit analysis predicts the potential for our institution to save a substantial amount of revenue from the possibility of a decrease in adverse patient events and nurse turnover. This research aims to contribute valuable insights to the field, highlighting the impact of federal nurse-to-patient ratios on patient and nurse outcomes.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Family Nurse Practitioner
Solis, Analicia, "Implementing New Staffing Ratios In The Emergency Room To Improve Nurse And Patient Outcomes" (2023). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 311.