How to Overcome Understaffing of Nursing?

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 722
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: Master

Proposed Solution

The proposed solution to understaffing of nursing is designing and implementing male-oriented hiring practices, job satisfaction, and retention. In particular, hiring advertisements should picture more men in the nursing profession (Carrigan & Brooks, 2016). However, these advertisements should avoid emphasizing the masculinity of men to avoid the perception of role incongruity (Clow, Ricciardelli, & Bartfay, 2015). During the interview, the focus will be on the career perspectives by presenting nursing as a stable, “flexible and reasonably well paid job, where specialization and further education is possible” (Yi & Keogh, 2016, p. 103).

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As for retention practices, male role models will be established by honoring more men as valuable employees, as recommended by Twomey and Meadus (2016). In addition, all policies will be revised to make the wording more gender-neutral, and anti-discrimination rules will be emphasized as proposed by Carrigan and Brooks (2016). Since the proposed solution is supported by substantial evidence, it is expected to be successful.

The intervention is also projected to provide positive outcomes since it is realistic and cost-efficient. The costs of the implementation of the intervention are associated only with the revision of the current documentation and additional training for human resource (HR) managers. Since no special equipment or supplies are required, the expenses will be minimal. Therefore, the intervention is realistic, and no changes are needed to start the process.

Organization Culture

The offered intervention is consistent with the organization culture of Eisenhower Medical Center (EMC). The readiness assessment conducted using a survey by TalanLyft (n.d.) revealed that the culture of EMC could facilitate the proposed change. According to the evaluation, the strongest points of EMC corporate culture are opportunities to learn new things, ability to generate new ideas and functional relationships among coworkers and supervisors. Additionally, workplace culture welcomes gender and racial diversity due to its perceived positive effects. In short, the culture of constant change and tolerance is expected to facilitate the implementation of the proposed solution.

Expected Outcomes

The anticipated outcome of the project is expected to improve the situation with nurse understaffing and diversification. In particular, it is expected to increase the number of male nurses by 20% and decrease nurse shortage by 15%. Since staffing is closely associated with patient outcomes, the intervention can indirectly reduce patient morbidity and mortality (Metcalf, Wang, & Habermann, 2018). Additionally, adequate staffing should improve job satisfaction among medical personal of EMC. In short, the intervention is perceived to bring positive changes to medical practice and administrative processes.

Method to Achieve Outcomes

The project proposes to utilize Lewin’s organizational change theory to address insufficient staffing by hiring more male employees and offering additional benefits to improve retention rates. Lewin’s change includes three steps, which are unfreezing, or arousing dissatisfaction with current situations, moving, or creating and implementing an action plan, and refreezing, or revising the current guidelines for the continuity of change (Batras, Duff, & Smith, 2016). According to the theory, there are three steps to be made to achieve the outcomes.

  • Spreading the knowledge about the consequences of understaffing (unfreezing);
  • Utilizing effective hiring strategies of male nurses (moving);
  • Improving retention rates among men (refreezing).

The specific barriers that need to be assessed and eliminated are listed below:

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  • The availability of a sufficient number of HR managers to participate in the project;
  • Support from the upper-management to allocate enough resources for the initiative;
  • Lack of knowledge and skills to revise hiring and retention policies.

From the current stand, there are no identified limitations or assumptions, which may need to be addressed.

Outcome Impact

The outcomes are expected to make a considerable impact on the patient-centered quality of care and the workplace environment. Improved front line care provider staffing is associated with a decreased number of missed treatments (Metcalf et al., 2018). Additionally, Glette, Aase, & Wiig (2017) mention that the lack of nurses may be associated with decreased patient safety. The matter is also confirmed by Kiekkas et al. (2019) since the research found positive associations between hypoxemia and arterial hypotension and post-anesthesia care unit understaffing. Therefore, an improved situation with nurse understaffing will improve the quality of patient-centered care by providing timely and appropriate procedures. Speaking about the workplace environment, EMC is expected to become a more diverse organization that will attract more males and racial minorities due to improved tolerance and reduced prejudice.


Carrigan, T. M., & Brooks, B. A. (2016). Q: How will we achieve 20% by 2020? A: Men in nursing. Nurse Leader, 14(2), 115-119. Web.

Clow, K. A., Ricciardelli, R., & Bartfay, W. J. (2015). Are you man enough to be a nurse? The impact of ambivalent sexism and role congruity on perceptions of men and women in nursing advertisements. Sex Roles, 72(7-8), 363-376. Web.

Glette, M.K., Aase, K., & Wiig, S. (2017). The relationship between understaffing of nurses and patient safety in hospitals—A literature review with thematic analysis. Open Journal of Nursing, 7, 1387-1429. Web.

Kiekkas, P., Tsekoura, V., Aretha, D., Samios, A., Konstantinou, E., Igoumenidis, M.,… Fligou, F. (2019). Nurse understaffing is associated with adverse events in postanaesthesia care unit patients. Journal of clinical nursing, 28(11-12), 2245-2252.

Metcalf, A., Wang, Y., & Habermann, M. (2018). Hospital unit understaffing and missed treatments: Primary evidence. Management Decision, 56(10), 2273-2286. Web.

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Stanley, D., Beament, T., Falconer, D., Haigh, M., Saunders, R., Stanley, K., … Nielson, S. (2016). The male of the species: A profile of men in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(5), 1155–1168. Web.

TalanLyft. (n.d.). Sample of company culture survey questions. Web.

Twomey, J. C., & Meadus, R. (2016). Men nurses in Atlantic Canada: Career choice, barriers, and satisfaction. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 24(1), 78-88. Web.

Yi, M., & Keogh, B. (2016). What motivates men to choose nursing as a profession? A systematic review of qualitative studies. Contemporary Nurse, 52(1), 95-105. Web.

Discussion Question 1

Q.: What are some of the obstacles or barriers to implementing EBP in nursing? Provide a rationale for your answer. Since there are numerous topics on the issue, it is not appropriate to repeat one that has already been mentioned unless providing new information.

A.: There are various barriers to implementing evidence-based practice (EBP) in nursing. Apart from the apparent reasons, such as additional financial burden and lack of adequate dissemination mechanisms, there subtle psychological reasons that should be considered. Implementation of new practices means changing the routine and approaches that are traditionally perceived to be effective. Nurses and other medical personnel may oppose the change due to distrust or the lack of time. Another reason for the resistance is that EBP supports standardized practices. The resentment of nurses towards the push to standardized care is relatively easy to understand.

The problem lies in the competing interests of different stakeholders of the healthcare system. The primary concern of the government and the insurance companies is to improve the cost-efficiency of care (Catena, Dopson, & Holweg, 2019). As a result, healthcare authorities promote standardized decisions, which may be associated with adverse events in the long run. However, medical professionals realize that there are no universal solutions and that customized care can improve patient outcomes and decrease integration costs (Catena et al., 2019). In short, the resistance from primary care providers is one of the obstacles to the implementation of EBP.

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Catena, R., Dopson, S., & Holweg, M. (2019). On the tension between standardized and customized policies in health care: The case of length‐of‐stay reduction. Journal of Operations Management. Web.

Discussion Question 2

Q.: Conducting research projects while ensuring the protection of human subjects is necessary. What are some methods to protect personal rights of someone in one of the groups that is labeled as vulnerable? Justify your rationale.

A.: The vulnerable populations in nursing research are children, older adults, pregnant women, fetuses, cognitively impaired individuals, prisoners, and students. The primary way of protecting the rights of such individuals is making sure that they can understand the possible benefits and dangers of their participation. This is usually done by helping the subjects understand all the points in the informed consent form (Ketefian, 2015). However, since some vulnerable groups are unable to make decisions for themselves, their legally authorized representatives should sign informed consent.

Other recommendations concerning the matter include the following:

  1. Vulnerable populations should participate in research if they are the only appropriate group to answer the research question.
  2. Participants should not be subject to coercion through overt or implicit threat of harm or reprisal. For example, surveys among students should be anonymous to avoid bias from teachers.
  3. The subjects should not be unduly influenced to participate in a study by offering excessive, unwarranted, inappropriate, or improper rewards. For instance, if people with low income are provided free lifetime healthcare, they are considered unduly influenced.


Ketefian S. (2015) Ethical considerations in research. Focus on vulnerable groups. Invest Educ Enferm, 33(1), 164-172.