Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios

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Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay

Nowadays, the US health care system undergoes serious transformations. Nevertheless, the serious steps are to be made at both the state and local levels. The role of medical personnel’s initiatives in the reforms is extremely important. In fact, nurses are the first official persons who deal with their patient’s problems. As well- informed professionals, nurses are to take the active part in the reforms, developing their own strategies and increasing their power. Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay.

Legislator Information Sheet
· The US health care system undergoes numerous challenges nowadays. In fact, “quality and performance improvement initiatives are driving significant changes in the United States healthcare system” (Weston & Roberts, 2013).

· The nurse personnel working in health care institutions of California is not similar to the nursing staff of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The reason is in the effective legislation, initiated in California in 2004. This phenomenon can be achieved under the circumstances when “state-mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios are in effect” (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 1).

There are several key distinctions in California’s health care.

· There is a shortage of experienced health care staff at hospitals. In common surgeries, mortality increased by 7%. According to surveys, “nurse burnout and job dissatisfaction, precursors of voluntary turnover, also increased significantly as nurses’ workloads increased” (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 2).

· The average quantity of assigned patients exceeded the mandated 2:1 ratio to an insignificant degree. Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay.Within the mandated ratio of medical-surgical specialty is 5:1, California demonstrated 4.8 in comparison to 6.8 in New Jersey and 6.5 in Pennsylvania (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 3).


· The number of assigned patients has decreased by approximately fourfold. In correspondence with a percentage indicating compliance strategy, the ratio between the increased, the same, and the decreased levels is 10:49:42 respectively (Aiken et al., 2010, p. 11).

· Innovative strategies contribute to the development of nurse-patient ratios. In fact, “health information technology… holds the potential to transform the quality of care and to establish linkages between nursing care and patient outcomes” (Dykes & Collins, 2013).

My Strategies to Influence Votes
There is no denying the fact that the current state of affairs in the U.S. health care system leaves much to be desired. Many nurses cannot stay aside from modern health policies and they become involved in many political and practical activities to improve the situation in the field. In fact, nurses are the first representatives of the U.S. authorities that close contact with the patients and their families. Therefore, nurses are the most well-informed persons to initiate improvements in the policies and legislation that manage the entire U.S. health care system (Abood, 2007).

According to the statistics of 2005, health care insurers did not embrace all American citizens in the provision of health care coverage (Abood, 2007). For example, approximately 46.6 million Americans do not possess health insurance programs of any type (Abood, 2007). This fact appears to be dangerous on the background of rising prices for medical services. The system supplying medical services lacks wise coordination. This fact leads to boosting costs of medical treatment and placing suffering individuals into a risky situation. Nurses are at the crossroads, having to choose the way of leaving things be as they are or to struggle for changes and search for new opportunities to improve the situation (Abood, 2007).Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay. As policy advocates, nurses may implement several strategies both at the local and state levels. Leaving the habitual comfort zone, nurses face numerous challenges requiring free access to power resources, strong determination, and time (Abood, 2007).

Taking into account all the achieved nursing experience in policies, I would advise implementing three main strategies in the field both at the local and at the state levels. They are suggesting initiatives into health care policy, introducing changes into proposals or banning these proposals, and initiating changes into the practical usages of adopted health policy.

My Strategies at the Local Level
My first suggested strategy is initiating policy proposals. Following the best practices, initiatives in the health care field would be beneficial. First, self-consciousness and the proper educational level are to be provided at the local level. This goal can be achieved by organizing various coaching courses and professional events. In fact, a great majority of state nursing and specialty nursing organizations provide financial support for arranging national legislative events. They hold policy workshops, aiming to suggest the medical employees broaden their knowledge about the modern U.S. legislation and law-making procedures. The above-mentioned subjects arrange coaching courses for teaching new members of the initiative teams (Abood, 2007).

My Strategies at the State Level
At the state level, government agencies and private sector insurers are the subjects that initiate a great number of directions and regulations, complicating the relations between nurses and patients. Moving between settings or between providers requires comprehensive preparation and education of patients and families as well as the accurate and timely flow of essential information (Lamb, 2015). The cost of health care treatment and access to the medical services of high quality are the burning problems of modern medicine (Abood, 2007). Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay.

Providing the opportunity for nurses to change or veto other’s nursing proposals is my second strategy to implement. Being well-informed about the real state of affairs and effective techniques, nurses can suggest their own proposals. Discussing the relevant issues with their colleagues, nurses can examine the advantages and drawbacks of those proposals and find proper solutions. Nurses are more interested in solving their challenges than policy-makers are. Therefore, their activities would be more effective. The tools for providing changes in the health care field are the possibilities to ban others’ proposals that do not correspond to their interests. Nurses are to have the opportunity to take part in public meetings to draw public attention to their position. Under the circumstances, mass media is the relevant tool for advocating the proposals under consideration (Abood, 2007).

I argue that organized groups should defend their voters’ interests in a professional way. This activity requires a long-term practice that may last for a month and even years. Therefore, nurses are to be members of professional societies to advocate their interests. The collective professional defense would be more successful than the individual one. Professional organizations may register their candidates to support their ideas. Therefore, voting in elections is an important issue (Abood, 2007).

Increasing My Power to Influence Votes
Analyzing the literature, I have developed an approach increasing my power to influence voters. I agree with Abood (2007) that “the ability to successfully exert influence in the various arenas … depends on having a power base and knowing where and when to exert that influence.” In fact, power is the most significant tool in this field. Like Abood, I distinguish five types of power. They are “namely expertise, one’s role, personal respect, and the abilities to reward and/or punish” (Abood, 2007). Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay. Personally, I would find free access to them even being new in the nursing policy arena.

Joining professional organizations is an effective strategy. I do not consider that nurses are powerless as some individuals may think. As Abood (2007) states, “there are 2.9 million registered nurses who are dispersed in every voting district in the nation.” Unfortunately, these significant resources are not implemented properly because of such reasons as lasting disagreements with physicians and failures in demographic diversity. Therefore, I would involve this potential resource to increase my power.

I would pay attention to expert power as the second source of great possibilities. This issue can be explained as “possessing the knowledge and skill that someone else needs” (Abood, 2007). Expert power is the background for defending proposals in the legislative arena. As both providers and consumers of health care services, nurses can share their experience with political players.

Legitimate power is my third source of boosting my influence in voting. To get access to making politics, I am to be registered, getting the license of the State Board of Nursing (Abood, 2007). Moreover, I would find legislative support in the documents developed by the American Nurses Association. The most significant legislations are the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements and Nursing’s Social Policy Statement (Abood, 2007).

I can get referent power, being worthy of other persons’ admiration and respect. I am completely sure that people’s trust is a powerful and precious thing. Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay.

Then, there is reward power, and it can be of various types. This issue can be explained as “the ability to give other people what they want, and hence ask them to do things for you in exchange” (Abood, 2007). In practice, it may mean the thing that each policy-maker wants to obtain as many votes as he can in order to be chosen. Instead, he is to support his voters’ interests. In fact, “the unusual part of healthcare is that the products and services are often so unique to the consumer that comparison seems impossible” (Dailey, 2013). I think that I can obtain this reward power. Finally, I draw attention to coercive power. Being the direct opposite of the reward power, the coercive one uses the ability to penalize. I agree with Abood (2007) who states: “coercion is the ultimate power of all governments.” The state and federal taxation legislation play a significant role. Going together with rewards, punishment is an effective source of managing behavior. Nevertheless, I do not consider that I have access and desire to use this tool currently.

Evaluating modern tools for increasing the power to influence voters, I would choose networking. Modern society is truly considered to be closely connected with high information technologies.Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay. Many people spend the great majority of their time surfing the Internet. Researchers note that “the decreased cost of personal computing and internet connectivity has increased the impact of technology on nurses” (Jackson, Fraser, & Ash, 2014). Therefore, I consider the networking strategy to be effective.

Nowadays, the U.S. health care system meets numerous challenges. Despite global transformations, nurses can influence the health care system in a more effective way than professional policy-makers. I would advise introducing three main strategies in health care. They include providing initiatives into health care policy, introducing changes into proposals or banning these proposals, and initiating changes into the practical usages of adopted health policy. To develop my power to influence voters, I would implement increasing credentials, joining organizations, and managing networking with the potential voters.

Nurse staffing ratios Running head: NURSE STAFFING RATIOS Nurse Staffing Ratios Maureen K. Halstead Grand Canyon University: Theories and Concepts in Leadership and Management/451V September 15, 2012 Nurse Staffing Ratios Over the past number of years there has been a nursing shortage which has led to the need of more registered nurses in the hospital setting. Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay. This is due to the uprising acuity of patient care and a decrease in there overall hospital stay. In order for the patients to get safe and quality care, the staffing, education and experience of the nursing staff needs to be made a priority. Not only has the safety and quality of patient care suffered, the working conditions in hospitals
Both managers and leaders are responsible in assisting and keeping the hospital or organization running and promoting the organization to continue into the future. Managers and leaders have different distinct roles, but the ones that are the most effective, are the ones that will combine the roles and functions into their workday everyday. There roles and responsibilities can be similar, but also can be different. A manager can be a leader, but a leader isn’t necessarily a manager (GCU, 2011). Managers A manager should make sure that the resources that are provided to the staff are useful, effective, and helpful. The manager should ensure that they have the adequate amount of resources and tools in order to complete there work and job. When it comes to the issue of nurse staffing ratios, the manager has the responsibility of making sure that the unit is staffed to meet the demands of the patients and there level of care, or acuity (GCU, 2011). Utilizing there skills in leadership, quality care, people and communication can all be of benefit. Leadership skills, such as leading by example, are necessary for nurse managers.Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay. Quality care skills can be beneficial to gather the necessary data and provide adequate staffing to promote and improve overall performance. People skills are used to interview new employees and hopefully increase staffing
Many nurses face the issue of understaffing and having too much of a workload during one shift. When a unit is understaffed not only do the nurses get burnt out, but the patients also don’t receive the care they deserve. The nurse-patient ratio is an aspect that gets overlooked in many facilities that could lead to possible devastating errors. Nurse- patient ratio issues have been a widely studied topic and recently new changes have been made to improve the problem. Identifying and maintaining the appropriate number of mixed nursing staff, RN/LPN/CNA, is critical to the delivery of quality patient care. Many studies reveal an association between a higher level of experienced RN staffing and lower rates of adverse patient outcomes (“Nurse staffing plans,” 2013). The nurse-patient ratios will in turn improve the nurses working conditions, decreasing the risk of errors to patients. The first step is for the hospitals to have a nurse driven staffing committee, which will create staffing plans that reflect that needs of the patient population and match the skills and experience of the staff for each shift. The second approach is for legislators to mandate specific nurse-patient ratios in legislation or regulation. The third approach would be a requiring of facilities to disclose staffing levels to the public and/or a regulatory body. On April 17th 2013, Senator Barbara Boxer (California) introduced a federal bill that is aimed to reduce nursing shortages by establishing a minimum nurse-to-patient ration in hospitals. She is also ordering whistleblowing protection for nurses who report quality-of-care violations. The law requires that every hospital implement a written hospital-wide staffing plan that will guide the assignments to… … middle of paper … …ck, T., Anen, T., & Soto, E. M. (2013). Nurse staffing: The illinois experience. Retrieved from Needleman, J., Buerhaus, P., Pankratz, S., Leibson, C. L., Stevens, S. R., & Harris, M. (2011). Nurse staffing and inpatient hospital mortality. England Journal of Medicine, Retrieved from Nurse staffing plans & ratios. (2013, December). Retrieved from Shekelle, P. (2013). Nurse-patient ratios as a patient safety strategy. 158, 404-409. Retrieved from V ́ericourt, F., & Jennings, O. B. (n.d.). Nurse-to-patient ratios in hospital staffing: a queuing perspective. Retrieved from
Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Essay