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Organizational Policies and Practices to Support Healthcare Issues

Organizational Policies and Practices to Support Healthcare Issues

How competing needs may impact the development of a policy

Competing needs such as the needs of patients, the workforce, and resources might influence the development of a policy because a balance is needed between these needs. According to Griffiths et al. (2021), hospitals are under pressure to utilize nurses who are in shortage as efficiently as possible and to contain costs. The goal is to ensure the unit staffing system is capable of meeting fluctuating patient demands while preventing wasteful utilization of human resources and connected costs.

Flexible nurse staffing approaches have been proposed as a scheme for ensuring the maintenance of staffing levels amid nursing shortages. Nevertheless, some staffing approaches, for example, the utilization of agency staff, can be an expensive solution, and healthcare organizations must look for options to reduce temporary staffing costs. Additionally, there are patient safety concerns related to the utilization of agency staff, such as unfamiliarity with ward practices, disruptions in team communication, and continuity of care (Dall’Ora & Griffiths, 2018).

Specific competing needs that may impact the national healthcare issue(nursing shortage)

Healthcare organizations are struggling to meet the increasing patient demands amid a shortage of nursing staff. As such, many organizations are requiring nurses to work for long hours, which causes burnout, job dissatisfaction, and nurse turnover. According to. Lockhart (2020), hospitals are struggling to retain nurses. Eighteen percent of newly graduated nurses will change jobs or even quit the nursing profession within the first year of employment. Shift length is the major cause of nursing turnover, with healthcare facilities that use twelve-hour shifts. Finding it difficult to retain nurses. Nursing turnover is costly for an organization since an organization incurs between 40, 300 dollars and 64, 000 dollars to reinstate a single nurse.

The impacts and how policy might address these competing needs

Nurses working hours have negative impacts on nurses’ wellbeing and patient safety. According to Son et al. (2019), long working hours make nurses have short rest time between shifts, which affects the health status of nurses and increases their risk for burnout. Working overtime is associated with occurrences of medical errors and adverse events, for example, hospital-acquired infections, injuries from falls, and medication errors.

Nurse leaders must establish the most efficient policy to match limited nursing resources to the fluctuating patient demands. Floating is a flexible nurse staffing policy that can address staffing deficits and ensure quality care. According to Dall’Ora and Griffiths (2018), floating involves assigning nurses, usually from a defined pool of nurses, to nursing units other than their home unit. Float pools are associated with a reduction in the costs of employing agency nurses and decreases in vacancy rates.


Dall’Ora, C., & Griffiths, P. D. (2018). Effects of flexible staffing on patient outcomes and healthcare costs. Nursing Times 114 (5), 38-39

Griffiths, P., Saville, C., Ball, J. E., Jones, J., & Monks, T.(2021). Beyond ratios – flexible and resilient nurse staffing options to deliver cost-effective hospital care and address staff shortages: A simulation and economic modeling study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 117, 103901.

Lockhart, L. (2020). Strategies to reduce nursing turnover. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 18(2), 56. doi: 10.1097/01.NME.0000653196.16629.2e

Son, Y., Lee, K. Y., & Ko, Y. (2019). Association of Working Hours and Patient Safety Competencies with Nurse Outcomes: A Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(21), 4083. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16214083


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Quite often, nurse leaders are faced with ethical dilemmas, such as those associated with choices between competing needs and limited resources. Resources are finite, and competition for those resources occurs daily in all organizations.

For example, the use of 12-hour shifts has been a strategy to retain nurses. However, evidence suggests that as nurses work more hours in a shift, they commit more errors. How do effective leaders find a balance between the needs of the organization and the needs of ensuring quality, effective, and safe patient care?

Organizational policies and practices to support healthcare issues

Organizational policies and practices to support healthcare issues

In this Discussion, you will reflect on a national healthcare issue and examine how competing needs may impact the development of policies to address that issue.

Post an explanation of how competing needs, such as the needs of the workforce, resources, and patients, may impact the development of policy. Then, describe any specific competing needs that may impact the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected. What are the impacts, and how might policy address these competing needs? Be specific and provide examples.

To Prepare:

Review the Resources and think about the national healthcare issue/stressor you previously selected for study in Module 1.
Reflect on the competing needs in healthcare delivery as they pertain to the national healthcare issue/stressor you previously examined.

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