When nurses go to work, their patients should be their priority. The nurse should be focused on patient care, doing no harm to their patient and attempt to use critical thinking and interventions in attempts to spend their 12-hour shift to improve the wellbeing of the patient. We should be asking ourselves, how can I improve the outcome of my patient today?
Unfortunately, nurses today are placed under tremendous pressure to accomplish more in less time, with less staff and less resources. The days of being able to spend quality time with your patient and addressing needs is cut short. Patients and families notice the nursing shortage as well, nurses are often too busy to talk to their patients/families, address psychological and education needs (Poulton, 2013). With staff cuts/shortage the impact of service is effected, the quality of care, and increase in medical errors, etc. This not only affects hospitalized patients, but also care in outpatient clinics and other health care services.
There have been many studies which show when nurse to patient ratios are increased and nurse burn out happens, patients die, increase in injuries, increase infections, and discharged too soon with improper patient education (Truth about nursing, n.d.).
AACN expanded the nation’s centralized application service for RN programs, the primary reasons for launching NursingCAS was to make sure that all empty seats in nursing schools are filled to better meet the demand. In 2016, more than 38,800 vacant seats were identified in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. NursingCAS provides a way to fill these seats and maximize the educational capacity of schools of nursing (AACN, 2017).
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2017). Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet, Strategies to Address the Nursing Shortage. Retrieved from http://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Fact-Sheets/Nursing-Shortage
Poulton, L. (2013). Falling nursing numbers are impacting patient care. British Journal of Nursing. 22(18) S3. Retrieved from GCU Library http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/eds/pdfviewer
The Truth about Nursing. (n.d.). What happens to patients when nurses are short-staffed or work with a high nurse-to-patient ratio? Retrieved from http://www.truthaboutnursing.org/faq/short-staffed.html