Healthcare Policy – Nursing staffing and ratios

The nursing shortage has been growing in the recent past following the acuteness of patients and the short periods of stay. There has also been a general increase in the patient population, which has been unmatched with the nursing staff in the health centers. This worsened the nurse to patient ratios, especially for the health centers that have no capacity to employ more nurses. As such, the safety and quality of health care provided to patient has been compromised to some extent. This is because the safety and quality of patient care has a positive correlation to the size of the nursing workforce and the experience this workforce possesses (Gordon, Buchanan, & Bretherton, 2012).

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There needs to be a way of distributing these nurses in the hospitals for efficiency purposes. Therefore, looking for a way to combine the two policies would give the optimal solution to the problem at hand. Offering incentives to students to undertake nursing courses increases the supply of nurses in the market so that the government and hospitals have a nurses to distribute. Determining the nurse staffing ratio will enable effective distribution of nurses across the nation. The approval process will allow the government to regulate on expenditure and staffing procedures. Finally the protection of whistle blowers will enable the government to monitor the implementation of the policies

Association American Hospital. (2015). Mandated Staffing Ratios. Retrieved from AONE:
Gordon, S., Buchanan, J., & Bretherton, T. (2012). Safety in Numbers: Nurse-to-Patient Ratios and the Future of Health Care. New York: Cornell University Press.

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