Assignment; NUR 6053 Developing Organizational Policies and Practices

Assignment; NUR 6053 Developing Organizational Policies and Practices

Assignment; NUR 6053 Developing Organizational Policies and Practices

Health organizations operate in environments with complex demands that must be met for their performance and competitiveness. Competing needs affect the decisions that health organizations make in addressing issues such as nursing shortage. Evidence-based policies and practices should be adopted to balance among the different needs in an organization. Therefore, this paper examines competing needs impacting nursing shortage, policy or practice influencing the issue, and recommended changes to balance the competing needs of resources, workers, and patients while addressing ethical shortcomings of the existing policies.

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Competing Needs

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The selected healthcare issue is nursing shortage leading to increased workload and burnout among nurses. Several competing needs affect nursing shortage. One of them is the need for health organizations to maintain profitability in their operations and at the same time addressing nursing shortage. Hospitals use financial resources to hire, train, and retain new nurses as a way of addressing nursing shortage. At the same time, the limited financial resources must be used to solve other prioritized organizational needs, making nursing shortage an issue of less focus in most institutions. The second competing need is patient needs. Hospitals must ensure that patient needs are met or exceeded in the care process. Meeting them requires resources such as finances and human resources(Haryanto, 2019). Hospitals must balance between the financial spending on non-human resources and human resources such as nursing shortage in enhancing patient satisfaction with care.

Policy or Practice

A policy that guides nurse to patient ratio has been adopted in my practice site to address nursing shortage. Accordingly, the hospital’s policy is that a maximum of one nurse to five patients in the medical and surgical units must be observed at all the time. This policy ensures the optimum use of the scarce resources to enhance patient outcomes(Challinor et al., 2020). The policy guides the hiring decisions made by the human resources department should there be a high influx of patients to the hospital.

Policy Critique

A balance between nursing staff and patients should be maintained for positive care outcomes. Evidence shows that a high number of patients to nurse ratio increases the risk of adverse outcomes such as medication errors, delays in care provision, burnout among nurses, job dissatisfaction and high turnover rate. Hospitals also incur significant costs in hiring, training, and retaining new staff alongside issues arising from quality and safety problems. Therefore, the policy guiding the nurse-to-patient ratio in the practice site is appropriate. It promotes the delivery of high quality, safe and efficient care. It also safeguards the needs of the nurses and other providers in the facility(Çamveren et al., 2020). However, the policy has some challenges. They include it being inapplicable in some situations such as during the Covid-19 period when hospitals experienced a severe shortage of staff and high patient volumes. In such cases, the safety and quality of care may not be achieved, hence, predisposing patients to unintentional harm.


One of the recommended practice changes to balance the competing needs of resources, workers, and patients while addressing any ethical shortcomings of the existing policies is ensuring human resources are matched with patient acuity in the organization. The number of staff in any unit at any given point should reflect the patient acuity(Challinor et al., 2020). For example, the number of registered nurses in a shift should be expected to high if there are many critically ill patients. Similarly, an intensive care unit with two patients can only be run by one registered nurse in a shift with the help of nurse assistants. Such a strategy will optimize the utilization of human resources in the organization.


In summary, competing needs affect the selected healthcare issue of nursing shortages. The practice site has adopted an effective policy to address the issue. The policy is ethical. A recommendation would be to match the staff in a unit with patient care needs. The recommendation would ensure resource efficiency in the facility.


Çamveren, H., Arslan Yürümezoğlu, H., & Kocaman, G. (2020). Why do young nurses leave their organization? A qualitative descriptive study. International Nursing Review, 67(4), 519–528.

Challinor, J. M., Alqudimat, M. R., Teixeira, T. O. A., & Oldenmenger, W. H. (2020). Oncology nursing workforce: Challenges, solutions, and future strategies. The Lancet Oncology, 21(12), e564–e574.

Haryanto, M. (2019). Nursing Shortage: Myth or Fact? Orthopaedic Nursing, 38(1), 1.

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Competing needs arise within any organization as employees seek to meet their targets and leaders seek to meet company goals. As a leader, successful management of these goals requires establishing priorities and allocating resources accordingly.

Within a healthcare setting, the needs of the workforce, resources, and patients are often in conflict. Mandatory overtime, implementation of staffing ratios, use of unlicensed assisting personnel, and employer reductions of education benefits are examples of practices that might lead to conflicting needs in practice.

Leaders can contribute to both the problem and the solution through policies, action, and inaction. In this Assignment, you will further develop the white paper you began work on in Module 1 by addressing competing needs within your organization.

To Prepare:

  • Review the national healthcare issue/stressor you examined in your Assignment for Module 1, and review the analysis of the healthcare issue/stressor you selected.
  • Identify and review two evidence-based scholarly resources that focus on proposed policies/practices to apply to your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
  • Reflect on the feedback you received from your colleagues on your Discussion post regarding competing needs.

The Assignment (1-2 pages):

Developing Organizational Policies and Practices

Add a section to the 2-3 page paper you submitted in Module 1. The new section should address the following in 1-2 pages:

  • Identify and describe at least two competing needs impacting your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
  • Describe a relevant policy or practice in your organization that may influence your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
  • Critique the policy for ethical considerations, and explain the policy’s strengths and challenges in promoting ethics.
  • Recommend one or more policy or practice changes designed to balance the competing needs of resources, workers, and patients, while addressing any ethical shortcomings of the existing policies. Be specific and provide examples.
  • Cite evidence that informs the healthcare issue/stressor and/or the policies, and provide two scholarly resources in support of your policy or practice recommendations.
  • Due to the nature of this assignment, your instructor may require more than 7 days to provide you with quality feedback.

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