The Nursing Shortage in Healthcare

Topic: Nursing
Words: 927 Pages: 3


It is important to note that the nursing shortage is a significant issue that affects patient and home patient care. The problem is a severe one since the risk elements involved are centered around medical errors. The provision of care the nursing professionals are done with the purpose of improving the well-being and health of a patient, but medical errors undo these efforts and can pose a risk to a person receiving a health service. PICOT: the adequate number of nurses attending diabetic patients reduces the cases of medical mistakes, while a shortage of nurses increases the rate of medical mistakes in a home patient care setting.

Background of Studies

The first quantitative study selected is titled “Measuring the Impact of the Home Health Nursing Shortage on Family Caregivers of Children Receiving Palliative Care.” It addresses the problem of nursing shortage in palliative care in the home health setting with the involvement of family caregivers. Nursing is significant in palliative home care since parents and family members need to engage in other important activities as well, such as work. The purpose and objective of the research are to quantitatively identify the impact of the nursing shortage on the rate and amount of nursing hours received (Weaver et al., 2018). The research question is about whether or not the nursing shortage influences the care provided to children in need of home palliative care.

The second quantitative study is titled “The Impact of Short-Term Solutions of Nursing Shortage on Nursing Outcome, Nurse Perceived Quality of Care, and Patient Safety.” It focuses on the problem of nursing shortage as well, but with an emphasis on patient safety. The purpose and objective of the study are to find correlational relationships between nursing outcomes, perceived quality of care, and patient safety. The research question is about finding the points of connection and patterns between the given metrics.

How Do These Two Articles Support the Nursing Practice Problem You Chose?

The selected two articles support the nursing practice problem by showing the implications and impact of the nursing shortage, which is a major variable of the PICOT. Both articles will provide information about where specifically nursing shortages hinder the delivery of healthcare the most. The articles are observational and not experimental, which means there are no interventions to identify. The first article focuses on the children’s home palliative care setting, whereas the second article is mostly about nurses and their perception of quality and patient safety, but the PICOT is about diabetes care.

Method of Studies

The methodological approach of the first study uses a survey to collect data from the parents of children and their experiences with home health nursing. It is stated that “a 1- to 10-point Likert-type distress scale was utilized for the psychosocial stress inventory section. The survey was independently reviewed, piloted, revised, and repiloted by an interdisciplinary team” (Weaver et al., 2018, p. 261). The second research method used a questionnaire to gather information from experienced nursing professionals. It is stated: “a pre-designed questionnaire was distributed to willing nurses. Data were non-normally distributed, and Scatter plots were also generated. T-test was used to find the relation of floating and overtime with sample characteristics” (Muabbar & Alsharqi, 2021, p. 35). Thus, the former article used a survey aimed at parents, but the latter used a questionnaire designed for nurses. Both methods’ limitation is reliance on subjectivity and perception, but the benefit is precision in collecting the data from the groups of prime interest.

Results of Studies

The first article found that the nursing shortage led to missed work and delays. The authors report that “parents missed an average of 23 hours of employment per week to provide hands-on nursing care at home, ranking stress regarding personal employment due to nursing shortage at 6.2/10” (Weaver et al., 2018, p. 260). In other words, the effects of the nursing shortage hinder a family’s ability to earn income reliably and attend to their work duties.

The second article found several major findings, but the most relevant ones will be addressed in this paragraph. It found that the “specialist nursing category showed significant association with quality of care … and pressure ulcer development … extended shifts and mandatory overtime had a significant association with job satisfaction” (Muabbar & Alsharqi, 2021, p. 35). Therefore, the nursing shortage can be driven by stressful work conditions and lowered job satisfaction, and specialist nurses, such as RNs, are better at ensuring the quality of care. The implications of the two studies are nursing shortage’s impact goes beyond a patient, and the solution is work condition improvements.

Ethical Considerations

The first ethical consideration is informed consent, where a participant needs to be given all information about a study and explicitly agree to it. The second one is confidentiality when personally identifiable information of participants is removed and kept hidden. The articles took these considerations into account since none of the information presented can be used to personally identify the participants. In addition, both parents and nurses were fully informed about the purposes, goals, and methods of research before they were able to participate by explicitly consenting to the terms.


In conclusion, the nursing shortage is a major problem in healthcare since in order to provide an adequate amount of care to diabetic patients, a sufficient number of nurses are needed to avoid medical errors. The quantitative studies selected used surveys and questionnaires to collect data from parents and nurses, respectively. Both focused on perceptional data, but they accounted for ethical considerations of confidentiality and informed consent.


Weaver, M. S., Wichman, B., Bace, S., Schroeder, D., Vail, C., Wichman, C., & Macfadyen, A. (2018). Measuring the impact of the home health nursing shortage on family caregivers of children receiving palliative care. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 20(3), 260–265. Web.

Muabbar, H. Y., & Alsharqi, O. Z. (2021). The impact of short-term solutions of nursing shortage on nursing outcome, nurse perceived quality of care, and patient safety. American Journal of Nursing Research, 9(2), 35-44. Web.

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