Addressing Unmet Need through Strategic Planning (Operating Room Nurses Shortage)
Nurses serve a noble cause of ensuring that the health status of the patients is well addressed and target creating an environment suitable for caring for the health status of patients. The nurses are guided by a code of ethics, which is a standard moral guide for nurses all in the hope of creating a good patient nurse environment that achieves the final good health of the patients. Just as the nurses are guided by the nurses’ ethical code, clinical ethics are just as important to facilitate the ability of nurses delivering in their fields. Some of the clinical ethics include the provision of enough equipment and staff to cater for the ever-increasing health patients in the hospitals. Quality health provision goes hand in hand with the quality of the staff and their number especially in the operating rooms, which has been identified as one of the unmet needs in hospitals.
Registered nurses make up the single highest number of workforce. Although shortages are difficult to project correctly, the current projections reflect the ever-decreasing number of people joining this profession (Drury, Francis, & Chapman, 2009). However, a long-term estimation shows that a decrease in nursing services will coincide with an increased need for their services. This can be attributed to the current growth in population worldwide. The trend of qualified nurses’ shortage is attributed to various factors among which include increased demand because of population aging. The number of nurses influences their performance and profitability in providing effective levels of healthcare.
The feeling of being overworked and getting paid wages that do not go hand in hand with the services offered is also another cause for the shortage of the nurses. The ratio of a number of nurses to the number of patients is highly increasing the gap with fewer nurses applying for this profession. It is also attributed to the population growth hence high dependence in nursing care. An increase in additional patient per nurse reduces the chances of provisions of a quality service that the health centers focus in to fulfill their mission.
Identification of need requires defining the source of the problem. After identifying the need, it goes through the development, implementation, and evaluation of a strategic plan that aims at solving the unmet need. Strategic planning sets priorities and focuses meant to strengthen operations that ensure the organization works towards achieving its set vision (Aiken, Cheung, & Olds, 2009). Therefore, it calls for a need to develop a more efficient workforce-planning model for healthcare organizations to achieve the problem of nurses’ shortages in operating rooms. More efficient and effective workforce planning model translates to exemplary quality of health care systems.
A thorough analysis of the current workforce of nurses is the first step in developing an effective strategic plan (Nevidjon & Erickson, 2001). Understanding the current state of the workforce helps identify the future shift in the health care sector, in this case, a reduction in the nurses’ workforce. The workforce data include the current ratio of nurses against patients, and an estimated future workforce needed to sustain the growing population and ratio. An important aspect to take note of is the factors that affect the data and better ways to improve it. Most health organizational facilities have a workforce planning system in place, and most have identified key drivers that influence their ability to achieve their goals, in this case being nurses’ shortage.
A review of the collected data is then conducted. Strategic plans need to be adaptive to survive the changes that are continuously affecting the different set goals (Murphy, Birch, MacKenzie, Alder, Lethbridge, & Little, 2012). Nurses’ workforce is influenced by different factors, both internal and external factors that contribute to the shortages. A high-level strategy is developed that is meant to deal with the changes that are being experienced in the workforce. An example of a strategic plan may include increasing wages for the nurses to sustain themselves with the changing economy.
Execution of the set plan is the next process in line where the set plan is executed in operational planning. The performance and evaluation of the strategic plan are conducted over time to determine the overall performance and outcome of the processes. Other inputs may be included afterward in cases where there is a shortage.
Stakeholders should be consulted and included in the formulation and strategic planning process (Nevidjon & Erickson, 2001). The nurses are the key stakeholders who should be involved in the formulation of the strategic plan. This means the success of the strategy depends on sharing information with the employees about any workforce planning information. Stakeholders provide an insight into the current condition and any possible means that may be used to address the current situation.
The vision for health centers is directed towards improving the health and health status of patients through strategic nursing workforce planning and development. Addressing the shortage of nurses in the operation room serves to ensure quality provision of health services in these institutions. Addressing nurse staff shortages increase the chances of the provision of an assured service and address the issue of the ratio of nurses to the patient.
In conclusion, more nurses in the health facilities result in the better patient outcome and quality services. Hence, there is a need to develop a strategic plan that helps address the dire shortages in nurses in the health facilities.
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Linden, A. F., Sekidde, F. S., Galukande, M., Knowlton, L. M., Chackungal, S., & McQueen, K. K. (2012). Challenges of surgery in developing countries: a survey of surgical and anesthesia capacity in Uganda’s public hospitals. World journal of surgery, 36(5), 1056-1065.
Murphy, G. T., Birch, S., MacKenzie, A., Alder, R., Lethbridge, L., & Little, L. (2012). Eliminating the shortage of registered nurses in Canada: an exercise in applied needs-based planning. Health Policy, 105(2), 192-202.
Nevidjon, B., & Erickson, J. I. (2001). The nursing shortage: Solutions for the short and long term. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 6(1), 4.