A strong healthcare facility needs to have the appropriate number of staff members so that they can administer care as efficiently—and safely—as possible. However, it turns out that the healthcare industry is severely understaffing nurses, resulting in a myriad of procedural errors. While hiring more RNs and LPNs does cost a medical facility more money, the benefits of expanding a nursing staff heavily outweigh the monetary cost.
Nurse Understaffing in Numbers
The extent of the understaffing in nursing units across the country is rather significant. The American Nurses Association conducted a study in which they interviewed nurses on their opinions as to whether or not their workplaces were sufficiently staffed—the overwhelming response was no, they are not.
The study also found that:
- 50% of nurses feel that they cannot spend sufficient time with their patients.
- 96% of nurses report fatigue at the beginning of their shifts.
- 43% of nurses saw an increase in overtime work.
- 54% reported that they have an excessive workload.
- 77% regularly have to work 12-hour shifts.
- 40% of nursing units are understaffed.
- 33% of nursing units are inadequately staffed.
Clearly, nurses feel that they need more comrades in their units. But how, exactly will expanding a nursing staff benefit healthcare institutions and address these grievances?
The Benefits of “Safe-Staffing”
Expanding a nursing staff costs money — everything does. But the pros of hiring more RNs and LPNs heavily outweighs the only con of spending more capital. Here are just some of the pros:
- Preventing RN burnout— with the current nurse-to-patient ratios in most states, RN’s are developing musculoskeletal disorders and severe emotional exhaustion, according to the Department for Professional Employees (DPE). A larger staff will not only keep nurses healthier, but it will keep them more energized and eliminate many of the above-listed complaints.
- Better patient care—adopting “safe-staffing ratios” is proven to help healthcare institutions administer better services, according to the DPE. After California passed a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio, for instance, there were 13.9% fewer surgical deaths, a 24% reduction in time that patients spend in the ICU and a 31% reduction of time spent in surgical departments. The DPE also reports that every patient added to the workload of a hospital’s nursing staff potentially brings with it a 7% increase in the mortality rate at the hospital.
- Stable profit margin—while expanding the nursing staff does incur a cost for the health care provider, the DPE reports that an expanded nursing staff does not typically affect a hospital’s profitability. Rather, it increases efficiency and, if anything, rakes in more money for the healthcare institution.
It is clear that having a robust nurse-to-patient benefits everybody—from nurses to patients to healthcare institutions. Hopefully, other states will take after California and mandate “safe-staffing,” and when it does, your temporary nurse staffing services will be in high demand.
When the time comes for expanding the scope of your nurse staffing company, though, or if you decide to start an agency of your own, finding sufficient funding can be a real challenge. Talk to PRN Funding about our nurse staffing factoring services and make sure that cash flow problems never stop you from growing your business!