According to Hospital Nurse Staffing and Quality of Care | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, there has been a prediction by the federal government claiming that there is to be an expected increase in the number of hospital nursing vacancies by nearly 29% which is approximately 800,000 by the year 2020, this will not be filled by slow increase in the number of nurses as their rate of increase will only be a mere 6%.
As it had been noted that higher level of nursing staff will increase both nurse satisfaction and higher quality health care, this cannot be achieved as the vacancies will be available but Registered nurses will not be available leading to a deficit which needs to be filled by promoting the nursing field among the young and the youth. It was also found out that there is a significant relationship between the number of registered nurses and pneumonia, implying that, in hospitals with increased numbers of registered nurses the cases of pneumonia in surgical operations and in the hospital environment as there is due care among the nurses as the patient ration per nurse is reduced stressing further for the idea of hiring of more medical nurses per hospital. According to Hospital Nurse Staffing and Quality of Care | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, a research conducted in California showed that there was a strong relationship between the staffing of registered nurses and pneumonia cases, confirming the report. Staffing levels were found to have an effect on adverse outcomes. It was established that higher staffing levels reduced adverse outcomes in health centers and hospitals by nearly 2 to 25 percent. Researchers found out that patient in medical centers and hospitals which have a high number of registered nurses are 4 to 12 percent unlikely to contract UTIs as compared to hospitals which have low registered nurses in practice.
It has been widely known and said by many that higher nursing workload leads to higher mortality, recent studies funded by AHRQ that there has been a higher mortality rate in hospital due to negligence and failure to rescue of patients due to unavailability of nurses in hospitals with low number of nurses as compared to those with higher number of Registered nurses. It was found out in one of the researches carried out that an increase in the number of nurses by 0.25% will decrease the mortality rate of AIDS victims by 20% in the 30 day mortality rate. Patience acuity in hospitals has been noticed to increase majorly, between 1991 and 1996 there has been a 21% increase in hospital patience with acuity care yet no change in the number of licensed registered nurses was observed.
This has resulted in the shift of work making registered nurses to work as supervisors instead of their main duties; this has led to workloads among nurses in various hospitals resulting in poor health care practices in hospitals. The cause of inadequate staffing levels have led to increase in the cost incurred due to low staffing, for example in a research conducted it was found out that costs associated with pneumonia cases increased by 84% while the stay in hospital increased by 5.1 to 5.4 days increasing probability of death from 4.67% to 5.5%.
Many stakeholders in the healthcare system are aware of the acute shortage of registered nurses employed in various health centers in the country and the stakeholders who are the State and federal government, hospital organizations, accreditation organizations and nurses’ organizations are in the process of addressing this situation while looking for fast recommendations to the problem (Needleman, Mattke & Zelevinsky, 2011).
About Us | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/about/index.html
Hospital Nurse Staffing and Quality of Care | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/factsheets/services/nursestaffing/index.html
Needleman, J., Mattke, B. P., & Zelevinsky, S. S. (2011). Nurse-staffing levels and the quality of care in hospitals.