Increasing the Number of Nurses
Currently there is a key challenge that is facing the US; the nurse to patient ratio is a challenge that has been there for a number of years. The number of patients is gradually increasing especially in an era where lifestyle diseases have become a social challenge. Many health facilities are understaffed and therefore it is difficult to provide quality health services when there are inadequate service providers. Many health care managers are investing in upgrading their equipment while ignoring the number of staff who is required to provide health services to the increasing number of patients. Many organizations that are in control of the health care centers are profit oriented and ignore the key objectives of safe and quality patient care.
Change Model Overview
The Rosswurm and Larrabee’s change model applied best in implementing the new changes addressed in this paper. There is need to increase the number of nurses to ensure that patients receive quality health care. Once the number of nurses to patients ration is reduced, the workload on nurses will be reduced and they will be able to focus on provision of better health care services, lives will also be saved with the provision of quality health care. Increasing the number of nurses is a process that takes time and the best approach would be to implement it in phases, this will ensure that hospitals with the least number of nurses are the first to receive more nurses. Once the number of nurses has been increased, it is possible to increase the number of health care facilities so as to diversity health care services.
Currently the ration of nurses in quite alarming ,there are times when the ration is 1:50 and this is quite a challenge towards provision of quality health services. There is the need for the government and all the stakeholders involved in the health care to ensure that patients receive quality health care; however, this cannot be achieved when the ratio is so high.
Problem Intervention and Outcome
The number of practicing nurses who are registered compared to the number of patients is very low, there is need to employ more nurses who will be able to handle the increasing number of patients. Nurses are currently being faced with huge workload with many of them having to work overtime which can be stressing. More nurses need to be employed on part time and full time basis. Some of the nurses can provide home based health care to the elderly patients and reduce the congestion in hospitals. Once the number of nurses is increased, more lives will be saved and patient safety will be effectively dealt with.
National Nurses United has been very vocal in addressing the welfare of nurses and one of the key issues that they address in the ration of nurses to patients and how it need to be reduced. An increase in the number of nurses would ensure that patients are able to receive quality health care services and easy access to health services.
The Registered Nurse Staffing Act requires that hospitals involved in provision of medical care should have an adequate number of registered nurses. There should also be other personnel employed to ensure that patient safety is given top priority. There are different units, which operate in hospitals, and if without an adequate number of nurses, it is challenging to take care of all the patients.
Increasing the number of nurses in hospitals is not a one-day affair; it is a process that will take time before the project is fully implemented. Since the government runs most hospitals, the first stakeholder is the government, which is involved in the employment of nurses. Hospitals will then be required to have staffing committees, which will be involved in developing staffing plans.
Legislators would also be involved in making regulations that control the ratio of nurses to patients. This will ensure that all hospitals and health facilities operate under a common regulation. Various nursing bodies will also be involved in the implementation plan. Hospitals will also be required to make public their staffing levels as a move to ensure public awareness.
Since the project will be carried out in phases, after the first phase the evaluation will be carried out to determine the efficiency of the change. The performance of the nurses will be analyzed during the evaluation period as well as the number of patients who were able to receive medical care compared to the previous years before the change.
Nurses will continue to be employed on a yearly basis; the government will be able to work together with the nursing institutions to determine the number of students graduating and ensure that they are registered. Since it is a process that will be conducted in phases, once the nurses have been employed there will be the construction of new health care facilities, this will ensure that health services are brought closer to the people.
As nursing professionals, we believe that there is need for people to get quality health care; increasing the number of nurses will be a key step towards achieving quality health care. Different stakeholders will be involved in implementing this process of change in the health. Once the project has kicked off evaluation will be done after one year to determine the effectiveness of the project. To ensure that nurses do not face a crisis due to shortage of nurses in future, more health care facilities will have to be built.
The Ratio Solution. (n.d.). National Nurses United. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from http://www.NationalNursesUnited.org
Furilo, J., & McEwen, D. (n.d.). State-Mandated Nurse Staffing Levels Alleviate Workloads, Leading to Lower Patient Mortality and Higher Nurse Satisfaction | AHRQ Innovations Exchange. State-Mandated Nurse Staffing Levels Alleviate Workloads, Leading to Lower Patient Mortality and Higher Nurse Satisfaction | AHRQ Innovations Exchange. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from http://innovations.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=3708