Ethical and lega; aspects of nursing practice dq # 6 student reply


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Question 1

The American Nurses Association recommends three general approaches for the maintenance of sufficient staffing. The first approach require hospitals to get nurse driven staffing committees that create staffing plans that reflect the needs of the patient population. The committee should also ensure that the plans match the skills and experience of the staff present (Houston, 2020). The second approach that legislators should match patient ratios to regulations and legislation. The third approach requires that facilities disclose their nurse staffing levels to regulatory bodies or the public.

Question 2

The main arguments for the establishment of minimum staffing ratio legislation revolve the improvement of the overall working conditions in hospitals. Among the findings cited for creating minimum nurse-to-patient staffing rations hold that patients are getting harmed inadequate staffing (Lu & Lu, 2017). In these seminars, the fact that poor nurse-to-patient ratio increases leads to a decline in the quality of care and negative outcomes is cited. Another commonly cited finding is that the cost associated with additional staffing is lower than the cost of losing patients due to poor healthcare outcomes.  The advocates hold that legislation will promote the creation of valid, reliable units and patient specific staffing plans among nurses and promote increase public reporting.

Question 3

The major argument for minimum mandatory nurse-patient ratio is that specific, guaranteed nurse staffing has the capacity to produce greater outcomes in patient care and alleviate workload from nurses. Limiting patient to nurse ratio could improve occupational safety, lead to increased nurse retention rates and lead to the promotion of health outcomes (Houston, 2020). On the other hand, opponents old that the minimum nurse staffing ratios would lead to increased cost of healthcare and cause the closure of many hospitals (Livanos, 2018). As such, most stakeholder, primarily hospitals are opposed to the legislation.


Houston, C. (2020). Professional issues in nursing: Challenges and opportunities. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer. ISBN-13: 978-1-4963-9818-5

Livanos, N. (2018). A broadening coalition: Patient safety enters the Nurse-to-Patient ratio debateJournal of Nursing Regulation9(1), 68-70.

Lu, S. F., & Lu, L. X. (2017). Do mandatory overtime laws improve quality? Staffing decisions and operational flexibility of nursing homes. Management Science63(11), 3566-3585.


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