In medical organizations, the cutbacks related to the decreasing patient number and resources inevitably lead to the nursing staff reduction. The decision-making process of the nursing leader that I involved in the accomplishment of this task is always rather complex as it is impacted by multiple factors such as QSEN competencies, patient-centered care, collaboration, teamwork, and quality improvement.
The concept of a problem can be defined as the difference between the present state of things and the desired one (Lewis, 2007). In most cases, the problem is associated with a number of obstacles that prevent the individuals involved from solving it instantly. The obstacles condition the solutions and the decision making. Over the last several decades, the field of nursing has been undergoing a multitude of negative impacts of the skills shortage that resulted in the insufficient nurse-to-patient ratio. The nursing leaders were busy looking for the suitable staff, coaching, and developing teamwork practices to improve the patient care and reduce the work-related stress of the workers. That is why having to fire nurses and reduce the team of these professionals in the organization is accompanied by many challenges and obstacles.
First of all, a cutback in the number of nursing practitioners in the organization is to be based on the evaluation of the possible impact of the reduced number of professionals on the patient-centered approach and quality improvement. As the professional group, nurses represent the largest quota of the healthcare practitioners, and due to that, they are the most likely to get affected by the layoffs caused by restructuring, recession, and downsize (Alameddine, Bauman, Laporte, & Deber, 2012). However, the insensitive or inadequate solution of the problem is likely to bring about negative long-term consequences. For instance, the reduction of nursing staff due to downsizing and cutbacks eventually leads to the need to recoup the jobs that had been lost previously (Alameddine et al., 2012).
Secondly, in terms of patient-centered care and quality improvement, the smaller team of nurses would be able to work with a smaller number of patients or, if the inflow of the patients remains the same, the reduced nursing staff would be overloaded and exhausted. Such outcome would inevitably lead to low job satisfaction among nurses, a growing number of medical errors, loss of trust from the side of the patients, higher turnover and burnout rates. In other words, the objective is to connect the staff reduction needs to be based on the nurse-patient ratio.
Thirdly, speaking about the teamwork and collaboration, the reduced staff would need to function effectively working in teams. That is why managing the layoffs it is necessary to weigh the number of licensed and unlicensed practitioners remaining so that the qualified care and delegating could still be provided in the reduced teams (Ward, 2013).
Finally, in addition to all the factions mentioned above, solving the staff reduction problem, the nurse leader is to take into consideration such QSEN competencies as the ability to use information technologies and practice evidence-based medicine (Hunt, 2012).
To sum up, this paper provided the statement of all most likely obstacles a nurse leader is likely to face attempting to solve the problem of staff reduction. The paper also provides the objectives the leader is to focus on looking for an optimal solution and performing the layoffs without destabilizing the human resources of the organization.
Alameddine, M., Bauman, A., Laporte, A., & Deber, R. (2012). A narrative review on the effect of economic downturns on the nursing labor market: implications for policy and planning. Human Resources for Health, 10(23), 1-7.
Hunt, D. (2012). QSEN competencies: A bridge to practice. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 10(5), 1-3.
Lewis, J. P. (2007). Chapter 4: Developing a mission, vision, goals, and objectives for the project. Fundamentals of Project Management, 44-55. Course reading.
Ward, J. (2013). Strategies to Cope with Short Staffing in Nursing. Web.