Nurse-Patient Allocation and Quality Service

Topic: Nursing
Words: 5339 Pages: 19

This study aimed to assess whether the current nurse-patient allocation is adequate in the provision of quality service. The research methodology entailed actual collection of data from the participants who were chosen for the study. The research aimed at collecting the quantitative data, where the primary data was a major concern. It entailed the design of the research, the sample population, the instrumentation, data collection and lastly the data analysis technique that would be employed in the research.

Research Design

Research design defines how a particular problem in question is going to be approached (Rahi, 2017). The primary aim is to answer the major research problem and questions and even test the hypotheses used in a particular study. This can be enhanced through the data collection process, instrument development, and sampling process. A research design ensures that the research procedure is more professional and that every deliverable being assessed within a specific problem is addressed. For this reason, the researcher is saved from spending a lot of resources when engaging in a research process. For this particular research, a descriptive approach was used. The correlational research design is the most effective for this particular study.

There are various reasons as to why this is a practical design. The first one is that it deals with multiple conditions or rather the relationships that exist, such as any effects that can be felt, the developing trends, the attitudes of people, beliefs, and even the process that are still going on. The principal purpose of this research is to find out how nurse-patient allocation impacts the delivery of quality services. Therefore, correlational research is essential because it is focused on getting an accurate account of the characteristics of a particular phenomenon, a situation, and or even an individual (Tobi & Kampen, 2018). Furthermore, it is a research design that will enhance the measurement of various statistical methods and their relationships. Some of the statistical measures include the correlation, measuring the level of relationships, and explaining whether there is a relationship between the dependent and independent variables of the research. It is a design that will still consider the various limitations of the research, such as the resources and time allocated for doing the research.

Choosing the appropriate research design was necessary for this particular topic. The aim is to get more accurate results that would help in making important decisions (Singh & Estefan, 2018). This is medical field research which means that the results will be significant for academic excellence and the field application. Reaching the correlational research design had various considerations in place. First of all, the study examined the relationship between two major variables that were being studied: nurse-patient allocation and healthcare services. These are two significant relationships that exist, and their effects can be felt in the whole healthcare sector. Secondly, this was the first time such a topic was being studied, and therefore, choosing the descriptive research design was appropriate. Once there are no other similar studies on the topic, having it from scratch would work well, as there are no limitations that can be identified from any other existing study. Lastly, the relationship studied in the research can be predicted, as it entailed nurses as the prominent participants in this field of study.

It is also important to document some of the advantages and disadvantages of a correlational research design. One of the advantages is that correlational analysis is that no variable will undergo a manipulative process. When obtaining data from the participants, they are constantly observed, and therefore, it doesn’t matter how the variables will be measured. It hence gives more accurate results, which implies that the results will be more applicable. This is one of the reasons that made the researcher choose to use this kind of design because accuracy was the paramount concern of this particular research. It was a study that was conducted based on the things that happen in real-life situations. Hence, the data obtained in this research will always be more applicable to daily encounters in healthcare. A correlational design also offers a starting point, especially when doing research. That is, it looks at specific relationships to determine whether the connections are present.

Another advantage that made the researcher choose the correlational research design is that it helps obtain the strength and the direction of the relationship between the different variables. It, therefore, implies that the findings from such a study can also be used shortly when doing research based on the same or related topic. Lastly, it was easy to classify the data for statistical analysis. This is through finding the correlational coefficient through the help of SPSSS and other special statistical tools used.

However, such methods had some cons, which brought some negative implications for the research. The first one is that it never indicated the kind of variables that had the most influence on the topic. Hence, one cannot quickly know the kind of variable that will be responsible for influencing the other. For this case, it was not possible to determine whether the nurse-patient allocation or the provision of quality care would influence each other. The other con is that doing a correlation analysis is a time-consuming process. This is because it entails a close examination of the variables in question. The last one is that the outcomes can have various impacts on the quality of work. However, in this particular research, such cons were minimized by having enough time to do the research. They had little to no impact on the actual outcomes of the research. The relationship between the variables was defined as well as when doing the analysis, and the researcher closely followed all the responses available in the questionnaire.

Target Population and Sample Frame

The target population consists of the individuals and or the entities that the researcher is looking forward to getting the inference from (Mohajan, 2018). A sample frame is where the target population is drawn. The target population is always vital before starting to work on any research in the field (Mertens, 2018). One cannot just wake up and start researching without defining the target population. It is always essential to have the target population for various reasons. The first one is that it helps to have prior preparation to gather enough information. A target population is a set of individuals who are the expertise from a specific field that one is studying. To gain such, a researcher has to take time and see where the target population is. After identifying the target population, the next step is to have the resources required to obtain the required data. This is important because the type of the target population will determine the sample and sampling procedure and the instruments that will be employed when collecting actual data in the field.

The major participants involved in this particular research were the nurses from the Miami region, both working on the day and night shifts at the hospital. Miami region has various types of hospital settings, and all of them were considered for this particular research. In general, there are 25 private and 50 public hospitals that the government owns. There are approximately 3000 nurses employed in the two types of hospitals. These demographics give a brief overview of the target population and how the sampling would be carried out. Also, from the same results, it is clear that the number of private and public healthcare organizations varies, so it is essential to let such two balance. This is where the target population would be done because considering all the hospitals will be a time-consuming task and having a large task that would make it difficult to get accurate data.

From this study, clinical nurses from 14 hospitals (7 public and seven private hospitals) were chosen to answer the administered questionnaires. There was a criterion that was used to arrive at these 14 hospitals. They were all picked randomly based on the sizes of the bed and the capacity of each hospital. They were classified into three major categories. The first one was the large hospital facility. These were the hospitals that had a bed capacity of more than 250 beds. From the random picking of such hospitals, it was found that only 5 of the total hospitals carried such capacity. It was kept in mind that the bed capacity determined the number of nurses employed in a given facility and the nurse-patient allocation. The second one medium size hospital. For such to be considered the medium size, it should have a capacity of more than 100 beds and less than 250 beds. From the random picking of the hospitals, it was found that four hospitals were considered as medium-sized. The last one was the small-sized hospitals which had less than 100 beds. The primary reason for doing such was to enhance equality and ensure that the maximum number of participants were involved in the study.

Every nurse working under the selected hospitals was eligible for participating in this particular study. However, they were required to fill in their highest level of nursing education and their current grade to determine how frequent education and grade determine the number of patients allocated to them. Also, those nurses that had both the night and day shifts in various wards within such hospitals were chosen. From the above 14 hospitals, a sample of approximately 400 nurses was obtained to assist in responding to the questionnaires. Out of the 400 questionnaires submitted to the various hospitals, 350 questionnaires were collected.

Various reasons led to using such a big sample population in this particular study. The first one is to obtain more accurate results. When the sample size is more significant, it means that the researcher will have more responses, which will increase the accuracy of the information. The healthcare field must always try to use such a large sample to ensure that information obtained can be relied on to make some critical decisions. The other reason for using a large sample population for this research was to more realistic and applicable to other areas not covered. Such increases the confidence in the results obtained, and the same information can be used in other areas to suggest recommendations and or improvements in the healthcare sector.


Instrumentation refers to the different techniques that are used in collecting data when doing research (Emanan Zadeh, 2020). In this study, a questionnaire was used to ensure enough data was collected. A questionnaire is a tool that is commonly used to collect data when doing research. The questionnaire was divided into four major sections. The first section was concerned with the demographic data. It is essential to highlight the characteristics of the demographics used in the research. The demographic data included the age of the participants, gender, nursing experience, their highest level of nursing education, and their current grade. The demographics data was important because it gave an overview of the sample population used in this research. Also, the demographic data help indicates the suitability of the sample used, which helps give confidential results.

The second section of the questionnaire inquired about the nurse-patient allocation in the ward. All the nurses were asked to respond to the number of patients they were allocated during the day and the night. Finding the number of allocations per nurse in the ward was important to respond to the research problem. After indicating the number of patients that every nurse handled both during the day and night, they were asked to respond on whether they were able to deliver quality care. The number of patients that a nurse deals with is essential and will determine how well the services will be delivered to them. After giving a response on whether they could give the quality care, the nurses were also required to give a reason for their response. This was to be in regards to the number of patients they were allocated to take care of while at their required shifts in the ward. Under this particular section, it was essential to collect the opinions of the nurses about whether they thought the nurse-to-patient ratio during the day was to be different from that during the night.

The questionnaire further requested the nurses to give the number of the patients that the nurse could easily handle safely so they can give the quality care, both during the night and the day (Emanan Zadeh, 2020). This question is essential as nurses might have their views on the number of patients they can actually take care of without straining, hence providing quality care. Furthermore, the second section was concerned with patient allocation. That is, the extent allocation was done in the ward and the time patient allocation was practiced were essential questions that required a response. Patient allocation is a human resources function within the healthcare sector. Hence, who decided the patient allocation and how it was done were important considerations in the questionnaire. Various factors that determined the allocation were covered in this section.

The third section was to collect the different views about patient allocation. First of all, nurses were asked what they knew about the term patient allocation. The definition of the term was included in determining the nurses’ preparedness in responding to the questions that followed therein. Other relevant questions aimed to collect more data were asked, and the nurses’ responses were required in each section. They touched on various points such as whether the nurse-patient allocation was essential in enabling them to be successful at their workplace, their relationship with the patients, enhancing holistic care, time each patient has to be treated, the clinical safety, quality of information, and the possible reduction in readmissions among others. The principal purpose of this section was to seek some of the views that nurses had towards the importance of allocation. The responses were specific, that is, if they agreed, were unsure, or disagreed with what the questionnaire was looking for in this area of research.

The last section was concerned with the quality of services. The research mainly focused on how the nurse-patient allocation impacted the quality of care in the ward that the nurses were working from. The quality-of-service assessment was divided into six major categories. The first one was the vision, commitment, and environment. The section was mainly essential to determine how the nurses were committed to quality by having a patient-centered focus. It assessed how the delivery of care met the quality standards. The second one is the alignment of the nurse with the patients. This entailed how the admissions are made in the ward and what to do when taking care of the patients within the ward. The third aspect was assessing the nurses’ readiness to find and eliminate any problems that patients would have incurred while at the ward. Some of the key points in this were how the patient complaints were handled, monitoring the feedback, and the various ways in which the feedback and complaints help shape the decisions about the delivery of care to the patients.

The fourth one was about the use and communication of the customer information. This included various considerations, such as how the customers in a given healthcare setting defined quality. Other concerns in this section included how the healthcare organizations provided opportunities for employee development, what the patients expect in every ward, and the information given to the patients in the ward, among other considerations. The fifth section was about analyzing how the healthcare organizations reached out to the patients. This included how the organization has enhanced the patient and hospital relationship and how easily it can reach the organization, especially when they have any complaints. The last part deals with how continuous process improvement has been applied in the nurses’ organization. This included various issues such as whether the employees cooperated when working, studying the various best practices in the wards, working continuously to improve the services offered to the patients, and how research and development are incorporated within the organizational processes.

The questionnaire was the best option for collecting data that was available due to various reasons. The first one is that the nurses would be allowed to respond to the questions in their own free time. Hence, they will be more confident when giving out their views and responses without fear of being identified. The second one is that it was the efficient method available to collect data. Many respondents were chosen for this study, and it would be difficult to apply other methods such as interviewing as they will consume more time. The last one is that questionnaire could allow a different type of data to be entered by a single nurse, hence receiving the full response.

Ethical Consideration and Data Collection

Data collection is gathering the information intended for a particular problem that is being studied (Arifin, 2018). It is an important aspect, especially when researching, finding a solution, or examining the relationship between various contexts. Data collection will entail having a close examination of what the respondents have been saying about the topic (Arifin, 2018). The researcher should be able to document the different responses into a single document that can be easily analyzed to determine the relationship between the variables being tested in a particular study.

Various considerations should always be put in place when determining the method that could be used for data collection. The first one is the kind of data that is being collected. There are two major types of data in any research: primary data and secondary data (Arifin, 2018). The primary data entails getting information directly from the participants, while the secondary data is where information is obtained from other academic sources. Hence, the two data sources will tend to have different collection methods. The other one is the time period that the research is intended to take. A long-time frame will require a questionnaire to collect enough data and the nature and budget of the research.

For this particular case, the participants were engaged, which means that it was primary data, which was collected by the use of questionnaires. Before embarking on the study, the research was approved by the IDEA Academy. Also, due to various restrictions, the questionnaires were used to collect all the relevant data that would be used in achieving the objectives of the project. Before engaging in the process of data collection, a questionnaire letter was sent to the participants to gain their consent as well as assure them about their privacy. The following is the letter that was drafted and sent to the participants who engaged in this study:

Dear Colleague,

I am A M, currently reading for an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and Management, with IDEA academy as part of the requirements for my degree. I am conducting a study to evaluate if the current nurse-patient allocation is adequate in the provision of quality service. Hence, I am turning on you for your help, asking for your participation in answering this questionnaire. Your cooperation and participation are fundamental, and your views are vital in this questionnaire.

I am totally aware and responsible for ensuring that your anonymity and confidentiality are guaranteed. Moreover, this questionnaire needs to be answered only with your free consent. Thus, you are also free to decide not to participate if you wish, and your decision will be respected without any repercussions.

This questionnaire should only take you about 20mins to complete. When the questionnaire is completed, kindly enclose it in the envelope provided, seal it and leave it with the charge nurse so as to ensure that your anonymity is maintained. Time constraint is my enemy, so I will personally collect the questionnaires three days after I hand them to the charge nurse. Your cooperation in this regard will be highly appreciated.

I wish to thank you for your kind cooperation and for sparing your time to participate in this questionnaire. If you need to ask any queries, do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,
IDEA Academy Student
Mobile no.

The purpose of the questionnaire letter to the participants was to encourage them to participate in the research by giving information based on their knowledge fully. The names of the participants were not to be known. That is, they were kept anonymous. When an individual’s name is kept anonymous, they will all be willing to respond to every question without fear of having issues with the management of the organization. The other reason for issuing such a letter to the participants was to ensure that they had all their full consent that the information they gave was only going to be used for research purposes. No other use will be subjected to the information that they would give the researcher. Lastly, the questionnaire letter given to the participants was to assure them that the research proposal had been ordained by the school, and they should help the researcher study to accomplish the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

After gaining consent and sending the questionnaire letter to the participants, the questionnaires were distributed so that the respondents could fill in their responses. They were given enough time to ensure that everything was intact, and they gave information based on their knowledge. A time frame was allowed to ensure that they responded to every question that was asked in the questionnaire. The aim was to ensure that the information presented was not biased. The questionnaire was divided into various categories. There were questions that required specific responses, and here the nurses were only required to choose a specific answer. Also, there was a part that required the respondents to write down their views based on what was being asked in a particular question. The aim was to have enough data collected and analyzed during the research process.

The data was collected based on different variables that were being studied by the research. Every variable was treated differently, and later, their relationship was also defined to have information collected pertaining to it. The broad classification of the questionnaires was important because having simple questions without a logical arrangement would negatively impact the general results, making the data classification and analysis difficult for the researcher. Each variable should have its own analysis and, later, the relationship with the problem being studied is defined.

To ensure that the maximum number of responses were received, the researcher obtained the emails of all the participants. They received email reminders every morning asking them to continue participating in the research. Also, due to the time factor, the nurse in charge was asked to be responsible for reminding the nurses who were participating in the research to have some time after work to continue filling the questionnaires. Everyone was required to fill the questionnaires and seal them to ensure that they maintained anonymity in the course of the study. They were later required to take the questionnaires to the nurse in charge and where to collect the questionnaires three days later because of the fixed schedule when doing the research.

Data Analysis Technique

The data analysis technique is preparing the data that has been collected for analysis and interpretation. After the data collection process is over, it is always important to ensure that the data collected is stored well for analysis. Most commonly, the statistical techniques for data analysis will be applied in this case to determine the relationship between the variables that are being tested in the study.

IBM® SPSS® version 23.0 software as used in the process of data analysis (Mallery, 2018). The nurses’ responses towards the nurse-patient allocation were quantified using the frequencies, means, and standard deviations. These are essential statistical measures, especially when doing quantitative research. Furthermore, there will be correlations between the variables that were studied. The correlation will be done using the inferential statistics methods, which will entail the analysis using the analysis of variance (ANOVA), the independent tests, as well as Pearson’s correlation coefficient.

SPSS software is the best method that could be used for analyzing data. In most cases, social science research should have a data analysis technique that will help analyze the relationship between the different variables being investigated in the study. The use of statistical methods would assess the nurse-patient allocation and the provision of quality care. There are various reasons why SPSS was the proper data analysis technique used in this particular research. The first one is that various statistical measures can be performed using the SPSS. SPSS can compute the various statistical measures such as the frequencies, means, standard deviation, as well as the ANOVA test for doing the correlation analysis. The primary objective of this research was to determine the relationship between nurse-patient allocation and the delivery of quality care by healthcare officials. The use of frequencies could well analyze this, that is, the number of nurses who agreed that the number of patients allocated to them impacted the way they delivered quality care. It was possible to carry out such statistical tests.

Also, the accuracy of the data collected could easily be determined by using SPSS software. The data analysis technique is essential because it will have crucial roles, especially when finding the solution to the problem being investigated in the study. The main aim of this research was to prove how nurse-patient allocation would impact the delivery of quality care to the patients. The data technique employed to find the accuracy of such a problem needs to cover every aspect. This is because the same information can be used in the future for similar results. The SPSS was the proper technique that was employed by the study. The questionnaires used to collect the data had different questions which had different measures. Therefore, under the application of SPSS, it was possible to do various statistical analyses that would help to determine the correlation between the different related variables.

All the data that had been collected from the questionnaires was put in the SPSS for analysis. The data were classified into various sections according to the variables that were being tested in the questionnaire. This was to ensure that every variable has its own statistical measure that would be important in knowing the extent to which it could contribute to the whole research project.


Every research is characterized by different limitations, which will depend on the choice of data collection method, data analysis technique, instrumentation used in collecting data, among other considerations. The research methodology was characterized by different limitations. This affected the results as well as the process of data collection, but they were not to an extent of influencing the research. The limitations are outlined at every step of the data collection process.

Research Design

The research design employed in this study had different limitations. The research design employed in this study was a correlation research design. There are various limitations that were encountered in this research design employed. The first one is that it was hard to define the relationship between the nurse-patient allocation and the provision of quality services to the patients. It, therefore, means that the variables that have the most influence on the topic cannot be easily identified when doing such research. Also, the research design employed for this study provided limited information for analysis. The research questionnaire had different sections. Some of them could not be analyzed using the SPSS.

Target Population and Sample Frame

The target population for this particular study was the nurses working in healthcare organizations around the Miami region. There are various limitations that were associated with the target population. The first one is that the few hospitals were used in this study. The target population and sample frame only included 14 hospitals out of the about 75 hospitals that were present in the region. It hence implies that the results presented may be biased. It would have been better to put into consideration almost half the total healthcare organizations within the region. The other limitation of the target population and sample frame is that a larger sample would have been employed. This study only employed a sample of 400 participants. This is a small number, and it, therefore, indicates that the accuracy of the results would be limited. For this research, 400 seemed to be a larger sample, but there were a lot of hospitals that were left out in this study. Hence, considering adding more hospitals would be a great idea for this research as the sample was too small when looking at the number of hospitals available.

The research was only confined to only one region. It, therefore, means that the results obtained can only be tailored in the Miami region, but not other areas. It is important to ensure that the research covers a large geographical location. When a large location is covered, more accurate results will be obtained. The last limitation is that the target population and the sample frame never indicated the ethnic background of the participants. Different ethnicities might have their own views regarding a certain topic in question. It hence means that a variable asking about the ethnic background would have been considered in the questionnaire.


There are various limitations that were associated with the instrumentation employed in this particular research. The instrumentation used for the study was the questionnaire. The first one is that it was only tailored to those individuals that could understand English and have the ability to read. Today’s working environment has become so diverse, meaning that people from different cultures can be found in the same workplace. Hence, those who cannot read English were left out in the questionnaires and those who might have visual impairments.

Another limitation is that using questionnaires in research could easily give false results and information from the participants. When the participant is not directly interacting with the researcher, they will be prompted to give false information as no one will be monitoring what they will say. Questionnaires also reduce their confidence level, and they cannot offer their full capacity to the researcher. Some ways of collecting data should be used, but this will also base on the time and resource constraints the researcher has towards the study. The use of questionnaires can also be limited, especially when the topic under research requires high expertise information. The questionnaires were randomly distributed to the nurses without basing on various criteria. For instance, the experience of the nurses was not put into consideration. There might be cases where the nurses’ experience would contribute to the number of patients that are allocated. Hence, limited information maybe is obtained in such a case. Also, some nurses may have little information about the nurse-patient allocation and some of the criteria that are used for allocation within a setting. They may hence have little information on some of the questions that are contained in the questionnaire.

Ethical Consideration and Data Collection

This was mainly primary data, which entailed distributing the questionnaires to the participants so that they could fill in their responses. There were different limitations that were associated with the data collection technique applied for the study. The questionnaire limited the response that would have been obtained when other forms of data collection would be applied in such circumstances. For example, based on the number of patients that every nurse was allocated in the hospital. Sometimes, a nurse can be allocated a different number of patients depending on the workload or the admissions that are being made in every ward at a given point in time. Hence, using direct interviews for such questions will help gain more insights as compared to the questionnaires, which will require the nurses to have specific patients in the ward. Furthermore, questionnaires are only limiting the data collection to the questions that have been asked. There might be cases where other data collection methods can include other questions to find more clarification and have deep insights towards a certain point in consideration.

References List

Arifin, S. R. M. 2018. Ethical considerations in qualitative study. International Journal of Care Scholars, 1(2), pp. 30-33.

Emanan Zadeh, A. 2020. Qualitative Research Methodology in Nursing: Discourse Analysis. Journal of Qualitative Research in Health Sciences, 5(3), pp. 305-313.

Mertens, D. M. 2018. Ethics of qualitative data collection. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection, pp. 33-48.

Mohajan, H. K. 2018. Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), pp. 23-48. Web.

Rahi, S. 2017. Research design and methods: A systematic review of research paradigms, sampling issues and instruments development. International Journal of Economics & Management Sciences, 6(2), pp. 1-5.

Singh, S., & Estefan, A. 2018. Selecting a grounded theory approach for nursing research. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 5, 2333393618799571.

Tobi, H., & Kampen, J. K. 2018. Research design: The methodology for interdisciplinary research framework. Quality & quantity, 52(3), pp. 1209-1225.

Mallery, P. 2018. IBM SPSS Statistics 25 Step by Step: A Simple Guide and Reference. Routledge.

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