Posted: December 23rd, 2022
Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue Assignment Essay
Nurse Turnover as a National Healthcare Issue and its Impact on Healthcare
Nurse shortage in America is caused by a number of factors and nurse turnover is among the main ones. Nurse turnover occurs when a nurse chooses to exit an organization or the profession. Some of the common reasons for exit include feeling underappreciated, heavy workload, and poor pay. According to Solutions (2021), 18% of new nurses will leave their jobs or even change professions within the first year of attaining qualification and an additional 33.3% will leave within two years. The nursing turnover rate stands at 19.1%, nationally and is expected to increase Solutions (2021) Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue Assignment Essay.
Nurse turnover negatively affect a healthcare institution’s quality of care as well as its financial well-being. There are direct costs incurred in replacing a departed nurse and there is a direct relationship between nurse turnover and quality of patient care. Continuous nurse turnover affects teamwork, trust, and effective communication among the remaining nurses. This has an impact on the quality of the services offered by nurses (Shaffer & Curtin, 2020)
In the hospital where I work, a 12-hour shift is utilized and length has been cited as one of the main causes of nurse turnover. Other reasons are burnout, personal obligations, peer-to-peer relationships, and dissatisfaction with supervision. Turnover causes nurse shortages and disturbs hospital services, staffing matrix, managerial processes, and strains hospital revenues by increasing costs. The main resulting costs include recruitment costs and those incurred in training new recruits. Quality of service is also affected because new nurses often lack skills that meet the expected standards and the existence of communication challenges between the remaining and new nurses. Additionally, nurse turnover cause staffing issues like loss of experienced and trained nurses as well as bringing an imbalance between new and remaining nurses. The overall impact is difficulty in arranging work and setting shifts and introduction of mandatory over-time for remaining nurses. This can eventually lower the morale of the nurses and trickle down to affect quality of care.
Summary of Studies on Nurse Turnover
The fist selected article is one by Smith (2018) in which various reasons for nurses leaving their current positions were highlighted. These include relocation of family, personal commitments, promotion and emergency of greener pastures, poor salary, retirement, and burnout. They also indicated that they leave because they are dissatisfied with their jobs, being disrespected, staffing and working under unfavorable shifts, poor workplace relationships, and desire to pursue further studies. The article further reveals that the cost of nurse turnover has a huge impact on a hospital’s profit margin and affects the morale of the remaining nurses, leading to poor quality of care. It is recommended in the article that turnover should be managed by mindfully creating a workplace culture that supports nurses in all aspects including financially, morally and psychologically. Organizations should strive to create good working condition to lower turnover. Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue Assignment Essay They should also come with shift plans after consultations with nurses. According to Lockhart, (2020), employers have made efforts to avoid rigid staffing schedules and instead foster flexible plans with acceptable shifts and proper nurse to patient ratios
Another article by Min et al., (2021), done across 20 states in the United States singled out mandatory overtime as the most common cause of nurse turnover. Mandatory overtime, although banned by hospitals that have achieved American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet recognition, has still been engaged as a solution to nurse shortage. Hospitals resort to this practice with an intension of reducing recruitment costs and managing the general wage bill. However, the study shows that mandatory overtime one of the worst ways of addressing staff shortages. The practice was found to increase turnover by encourage existing nursing staff to think about leaving, discouraging new nurses from accepting employment, and leading to higher treatment error rates. The extended effect is longer patient stays and lower productivity by the remaining staff.
Strategies used to Address the Healthcare Issue
Various strategies have been put in place to address nurse turnover and these include improving orientation and role transitions, which have a huge effect on staff satisfaction. Employers are embracing new recruit transition programs that have proven effective in reducing burnout and enhancing staff retention (Lockhart, 2020). There has also been mentorship programs aimed at increasing overall job satisfaction and eventually reducing nurse turnover.
Another strategy is improving the environment at the workplace. This can enhance staff satisfaction, reduce burnout, and eventually lower the turnover rate. For example, some organizations have eliminated weekly and incremental overtime as well as abolishing mandatory overtime (Min et al., 2021). There has also been shared hospital governance programs where nurses are involved in the scheduling of shifts, designing workflows as well as formulation and review of hospital policies. Acuity-based staffing tools have also been adopted to achieve adequate nurse staffing levels and foster practices that underpin nurse and patient safety. Additionally, efforts have been made to ensure the work environment guarantees a healthy work-life balance and that is free of vices like bullying and mistreatment. Overall, healthcare organizations are striving to have a mutual collaboration with nurses and this has reduced the turnover rate.
Lockhart, L. (2020). Strategies to reduce nursing turnover. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 18(2), 56.
Min, A., Kim, Y. M., Yoon, Y. S., Hong, H. C., Kang, M., & Scott, L. D. (2021). Effects of work environments and occupational fatigue on care left undone in rotating shift nurses. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 53(1), 126-136.
Shaffer, F. A., & Curtin, L. (2020). Nurse turnover: Understand it, reduce it. Am Nurse, 15(8), 57-9.
Smith, J. G. (2018). The nurse work environment: Current and future challenges. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 23(1), e12126.
Solutions, N. N. (2021). National Health Care Retention & RN. Staffing Report. NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc. Mars Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue Assignment Essay.
Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
Develop a 2 to 3 page paper, written to your organization’s leadership team, addressing your selected national healthcare issue/stressor and how it is impacting your work setting. Be sure to address the following:
The paper you develop in Module 1 will be revisited and revised in Module 2. Review the Assignment instructions for Module 2 to prepare for your revised Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue Assignment Essay paper.
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