It is important to note that the hospital’s operational effectiveness heavily relies on the proper functionality of the healthcare professional staff. Nurses play a major role in ensuring that healthcare services are delivered safely and appropriately without any patient risks or medical errors. The specific problem addressed in the given preliminary proposal is high nursing turnover, which hinders the organization’s ability to achieve its core objectives in regard to increasing patient satisfaction and medical outcomes. The problem needs to be addressed urgently and immediately because it incurs a high cost on the hospital’s performance and resources, which can inevitably lead to the inability to function profitably and effectively.
Subsequently, the proposed solution or recommendation is to reduce the shift length from the current one to 8-hour formats. Expert analyses and studies show that nursing turnover is most impacted by shift length, which translates into nursing burnout and excessive work stress creating a significant challenge with retention (Lockhart, 2020). Reducing the length of nursing shifts can massively improve job satisfaction levels as well as decrease nursing burnout among nurses (Lockhart, 2020). The solution is effective and appealing since it is a mere matter of organizing and rotating the existing pool of nurses with minimal need for expanding the existing workforce. In other words, even though each individual nurse will work fewer hours per shift, the boost in effectiveness and work performance will compensate for the loss of the essential hours. Instead of two overworked nurses covering a 24-hour day, three well-rested and non-burnout nursing professionals will be performing their responsibilities.
Moreover, the solution should be implemented immediately since it failing to do so will incur more costs in both short-term and long-term periods. The 2019 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report found that “it costs between $40,300 and $64,000 to replace one clinical nurse, with the average hospital losing $4.4 million to $6.9 million each year” (Lockhart, 2020, para. 1). Thus, it is evident that the high nursing turnover is wasting the hospital’s resources without any meaningful purpose or reason. The cost needs to be allocated to the shift length reduction for each nurse, which will result in gains in productivity, work satisfaction, and patient safety. The hospital should value and operate by prioritizing its nursing staff’s wellbeing and retention because neglecting this matter is a significant financial as well as operational burden. As a nursing manager, you have the authority and competence to present the given solution to your superiors or incorporate it on your own behalf. Evidence strongly supports the recommendation as shift length tends to be the prime cause of high turnover rates, which is true for the hospital as well. Our organization adheres to an excessively long shift format, and it requires a serious and urgent correction. I respectfully compel you to act and use your professional authority to integrate the change needed to save the hospital millions in costs and operational performance.
In conclusion, the high nursing turnover at the hospital can only be effectively solved and addressed by reducing the existing shift length to eight hours. Regularly hiring new nurses and losing the ones with essential experience is a costly endeavor burdening our organization unnecessarily. As a nursing manager, you should raise this issue and address it as promptly as possible. Our nursing staff and I are willing to support and assist you with this problem.
Lockhart, L. (2020). Strategies to reduce nursing turnover. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 18(2), 56-57.