Assignment: Differing Approaches of Nursing Leaders to Issues in Practice

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Assignment: Differing Approaches of Nursing Leaders to Issues in Practice

Assignment: Differing Approaches of Nursing Leaders to Issues in Practice


The performance of health facilities is measured by assessing the service care delivery that guarantees quality and safety to patients. The need for quality improvement in healthcare has prompted leaders and managers in the nursing fraternity to introduce systematic approaches that aim to prioritize actions on care delivery (Dunham-Taylor & Pinczuk, 2014). Currently, most public and private hospitals grapple with a challenge of staffing which in overall results in increased burnout due to the overwhelming tasks related to the rise in a generation of Baby Boomers. Solving the emerging issue on nurse staff ratio is a critical role of nursing leaders and managers considering that the professionals play significant roles in the provision of high-quality services to patients. Notably, written anecdotes related to high nursing workloads as a result of high nurse-to-patient ratio continue to suffice in the contemporary society. Moreover, the aspect of safe staffing with regard to nurse-patient ratios is a topic that has continued to rally conversations on patient safety and this calls for management practices to address the challenge.

The present article piece is based on personal expectations on the best approaches that nursing leaders and managers can use to address the problem of unsafe nurse staff ratio. Throughout the discussion, I will elaborate on Lewin’s change theory as well as principles and skills that nurse managers may use to tackle the challenge of unsafe nurse staff ratios. I will as well identify approaches that best suits my personal and professional philosophy. Finally, it will also be important for me to identify possible sources of funding to address the issue of unsafe high nurse staff ratios in the selected care facility.

Nurse Staff Ratio

According to Aiken et al. (2014), the overarching issues related to nurse staff ratio is a major challenge of care that continues to compromise the quality of care for patients seeking health services. Medical institutions across the world grapple with the challenge of nurse staff shortage exacerbated by low student enrollment to pursue the profession and high nursing turnover. Nurse staff ratios determine the quality outcomes for patients.

Most health administrators in hospitals recognize the value of safe nurse staffing to guarantee quality outcomes for patients. Conversely, an interplay of different forces related to nurse-patient ratios has resulted in an ineffective solution in responding to the nurse staffing gap. Accordingly, the aspect of patient-centered outcomes in care facilities is compromised by inadequate personnel.

Assignment Differing Approaches of Nursing Leaders to Issues in Practice

Assignment Differing Approaches of Nursing Leaders to Issues in Practice

Often, nurses in public, as well as private health institutions, are overwhelmed, which results in a challenge of patient neglect. In care facilities, it is recommended that the nurse-to-patient ratio should be 1:4 (Aiken et al., 2014). However, this may not be the case in many care facilities due to a high number of patients seeking health services. In the present care facility, the ratio is at 1:8 and this calls for an immediate strategy to address patient safety. High nurse-to-patient ratio as evidenced in most care facilities is unsafe for patients. The premise results in missed care due to poor pain management and untimely administration of medication.

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Comparison and Contrast on How to Approach Nurse Staff Ratio

Fitzpatrick, Anen, and Soto (2013) posit that nursing leaders and managers need to identify factors that result in the issue of nurse staff ratio before coming up with the strategies to address the problem. The root cause may arise from an inadequate number of staffs and high turnover for those already employed by a given health facility. However, it is important for nurse leaders and managers to ensure that organizations run smoothly as a remedy to nurse turnover. In other words, the healthcare environment should be conducive to enable nurses to work as per their competencies. Nonetheless, leaders and managers should be competent to identify options to improve nurse staff ratio in a care facility. This entails an assessment of the patient pool in the hospital and ensuring that the population is in line with the number of nursing staffs (Dunham-Taylor & Pinczuk, 2014). Ideally, it will also be vital if care facilities revise salaries and rewarding systems to improve staff retention. On the contrary, continued increase in salaries and allowances can also drain the financial reserves of care facilities especially when a large proportion of nurses are quitting the facility despite an increase in remuneration.

Ideally, addressing the challenge of nurse staff ratios requires a demonstration of resolute leadership as opposed to management. This is guided by the argument that nurses can readily manage themselves but they require leadership to guide them in their course of actions. The nurse leaders and managers should as well take into account effective communication skills to inspire the team towards best practice approaches. The premise also guides on conflict resolution and a response to concerns raised by nurses to retain them within the care facility.

The essential principles that can be used by nurse leaders contrary to managers relate to Kurt Lewin’s change theory. As opposed to managers, nurse leaders can use their position to identify and implement changes that improve nurse staffing in a care facility (Fitzpatrick, Anen, & Soto, 2013). This may include the provision of competitive remuneration packages that attract highly competent nurses. Besides, software systems can be used by nurse leaders to identify staff deficits and this offers an avenue for the employment of nurses that meets the necessary demands.

Approaches That Best Suits My Personal and Professional Philosophy

Notably, since high nursing staff ratio is a major concern to the care facilities, several steps have been established to respond to the deficit. My philosophy of addressing the shortage focuses on an introduction of nursing skill mix to ensure that duties are allocated as per the competencies of the staff. It will also be imperative to take into account the care hours as a remedy to nurse overload since it addresses the working patterns of nurses. Moreover, the number of shift hours, as well as duty allocation for nurses, form part of the essential considerations that nurse leaders should address. Additionally, I have a conviction that communication is an important aspect to take into account as it allows nurses to raise their concern about the nature of the work environment. Communication lays a platform for solving cases related to perceived intimidation, high workload or workplace incivility experienced by nurses. These aspects influences behavior and nurse leaders need to address the same to ensure staff retention.

Possible Sources of Funding To Address Nurse Staff Ratio

Implementation of the program to address unsafe nurse staff ratio will require a collaborative approach with several stakeholders. Nurse leaders are required to seek alternative sources of financial grants to support the initiative of maintaining the recommended number of nursing staff in a care facility. Potential financiers could include the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) (Dunham-Taylor & Pinczuk, 2014). These institutions offer financial support that guarantees the sustainability of the proposed nurse staffing.


The issue of nurse staffing ratio is vital in addressing patient care in hospitals. However, unsafe high nurse-to-patient ratio is a major concern to quality care which demands effective nurse leadership to respond to the issue. As indicated, communication and implementation of change strategies are essential in improving nurse retention as well as the attraction of highly competent staff. Unless immediate steps to address the issue on nurse staff ratios are undertaken, the health sector may dawn in an era of poor quality care.

In this assignment, you will be writing a 1,000-1,250-word essay describing the differing approaches of nursing leaders and managers to issues in practice. To complete this
assignment, do the following:

(1) Select an issue from the following:
The shortage of nurses and nurse turn over, Nurse staff ratio, unit closures, and restructuring,
Use of contract employees (i.e., registry and travel nurses), Continuous quality improvement and patient satisfaction, and Magnet designation.

(2)Compare and contrast how you would expect nursing leaders and managers to approach your selected issue.

(3)Support your rationale by using the theories, principles, skills, and roles of the leader versus manager described in your readings.

{4} Identify the approach that best fits your personal and professional philosophy of nursing and explains why the plan is suited to your personal leadership style.

(4)Identify a possible funding source that addresses your issue. Consider looking at federal, state, and local organizations. For example, There are many grants available through the CDC, HRSA, etc.

Use at least two references other than your text and those provided in the course.

Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, and must be less than 20% plagiarism.

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