The current paper focuses on the possible solutions for the problem of nursing understaffing. To investigate this issue, the author employs several nursing theories, including the environmental theory, the theory of interpersonal relations, and, to a lesser degree, transitions theory. The first-mentioned environmental theory was developed by Florence Nightingale, who argues that the critical task of nurses is to create and maintain conditions beneficial for the recovery of a patient (Nightingale, 1860).
For example, nurses should control the air’s freshness in a hospital ward, the cleanliness of a patient, lighting, and access to water (Nightingale, 1860). From this theory, it could be inferred that the lack of nurses in hospitals leads to the fact that the suitable environment could not be properly maintained and, this, in turn, hinders patients recovery.
The second applied theory was developed by Hildegard E. Peplau and is called the theory of interpersonal relations. Peplau (1988) argues that interaction between a nurse and a patient is a key to recovery. That is because interpersonal interaction for therapeutic purposes enables a nurse to understand how to help a sick person. The nursing understaffing leads to the fact the nurses become overloaded and, hence, cannot devote sufficient attention to their patients to assist them in solving health problems.
Finally, according to the transitions theory developed by Afaf Ibrahim Meleis, nurses play an essential role in facilitating health transitions for patients and their families (Meleis, 2011). Therefore, the lack of nurses leads to the problem that they cannot decently assist patients and their family members to transit from health to illness with minimal negative consequences. In other words, the applied theories indicate that the issue of nursing understaffing poses a danger to the well-being of patients and their efficient recovery.
Proposed Implementation Plan with Outcome Measures
The plan that should be implemented to solve the previously outlined problem consists of three steps. First of all, it is necessary to interview nurses to discover their needs and views on how to improve their working schedule. Besides, interviews will reveal factors that motivate nurses to care about patients. Secondly, the conducted interviews should be analyzed in order to figure out the most popular impediments faced by medical workers.
The data retrieved from the interviews should be used to alter the existing schedules to eliminate the problem of overworking and professional burnouts. The implementation of the indicated plan is expected to reduce high levels of nursing understaffing. The new schedule will consider the needs of the nurses and, hence, increase their satisfaction with the working process. In addition to that, an improved timetable will allow nurses to allocate time between patients more efficiently and, hence, provide them with the care of better quality.
Discussion of how Evidence-Based Practice Was Used in Creating the Intervention Plan
Numerous scholars emphasize that proper time management is key to the improvement of the quality of services provided by nurses. For instance, Rizany et al. (2019) claim that high nursing understaffing stems from dissatisfaction with overworking and emotional pressure. The results of the study conducted by Rizany et al. (2019) are based upon the investigation of 102 nurses. Furthermore, Leineweber et al.’s (2016) analysis of “23,076 registered nurses from 2020 units in 384 hospitals in 10 European countries” reveals that dissatisfaction with the inflexible schedule is a major reason why nurses quit (p.47). Therefore, it becomes apparent that the problem of nurses paucity could be solved by creating a flexible and deliberate schedule that would prevent them from working extra hours and satisfy their requirements.
Plan for Evaluating the Proposed Nursing Intervention
The proposed nursing intervention’s efficiency could be estimated by comparing the turnover rates before and after the implementation of a renewed schedule. The improved schedule should lead to a reduction in the number of voluntary resigns. Besides, it is necessary to monitor the nurses’ quality of care by comparing the extent of patients satisfaction with nurses care before and after the upgrade of their schedule. At this point, it should be mentioned that the changes will not be instantaneous. Instead, the improvements that stem from the new schedule will be gradual. This way, it is recommended to evaluate the proposed solution’s efficiency not earlier than after three months.
Potential Barriers to Plan Implementation
The most apparent barrier to implementing the proposed plan is the resistance of a hospital administration to changes. From one point of view, if patients keep coming to a hospital, then the problems it faces are insignificant. Some nurses leave, and new ones come and, hence, patients are not left alone without attention and care. However, suppose the administration of a hospital resists employing a renewed schedule despite high staff turnover. In that case, it is essential to explain that high turnover is not beneficial for patients and the entire hospital. It also might be suggested to try a new schedule on half of the nurses to see if they will be better off than nurses who work under the usual circumstances.
Leineweber, C., Chungkham, H. S., Lindqvist, R., Westerlund, H., Runesdotter, S., Alenius, L. S., & Tishelman, C. (2016). Nurses’ practice environment and satisfaction with schedule flexibility is related to intention to leave due to dissatisfaction: A multi-country, multilevel study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 58, 47-58. Web.
Meleis, A. I. (2011). Theoretical nursing: Development and progress. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Nightingale, F. (1860). Notes on Nursing. Appleton.
Peplau, H. E. (1988). The art and science of nursing: Similarities, differences, and relations. Nursing Science Quarterly, 1(1), 8-15. Web.
Rizany, I., Hariyati, R. T. S., & Afifah, E. (2019). The impact of nurse scheduling management on nurses’ job satisfaction in army hospital: A cross-sectional research. SAGE Open, 9(2). Web.