Nursing research helps to underscore the relationship between the number of nurse staffing and adverse nurse related health outcomes. This concept discloses factors that contribute to inadequate nurse staffing and the appropriate nurse-patient ratio. Stanton (2003) observes that, low nurse staffing levels lead to higher rates of poor patient outcomes. Nursing research uncovers significant factors that cause lower nurse staffing levels. Once the researchers publicize the responsible factors, stakeholders in the healthcare system may develop and implement strategies to try to address the issue to sustain high quality care.
Hospital nurse staffing is an important factor that nursing research has helped depict its impacts on quality of care and patient safety. Nursing-sensitive outcomes are among the pointers of quality of care (Stanton, 2003). Logically, most researches focus on negative instead of positive patient outcomes because they are more likely to be recorded in the medical records thereby, raising concern for approaches that are nursing oriented.
Research helps to demonstrate how increased nurse staffing helps reduce nursing-sensitive adverse outcomes. Thus, these findings may compel health care facilities to increase their nurse staff and in turn relieve some workload off the nurses. In addition, increased nurse staffing helps lower mortality rates. Reduced morality rate gives nurses some sense of accomplishment, which in turn boosts their morale in workplace.
Moreover, nursing research helps depict the relationship between nurse workload and job dissatisfaction, which are important factors affecting nurse recruitment and retention. Various health facilities employ certain strategies to help recruit and retain their nursing staff. Such strategies include increased nursing salaries and incentives. In addition, nursing research facilitates in looking and identifying ways to ameliorate nursing performance (Buerhaus, & Needleman, 2000, p.14). Increased performance translates to increased productivity and subsequently profitability.
Barriers to evidence based practice in nursing
Barriers to evidence-based practice (EBP) are factors that hinder practice that employ knowledge developed from latest nursing research findings. Nursing research and Evidence-Based Practice are significant concerning nurses providing high quality care supported by research and empirical knowledge (Turkel, Ferket, Reidinger & Beatty, 2008, p. 27). This conviction is contrary to a practice based on traditions, advice of peers, hunches, or outdated textbooks.
Various factors hinder the application of evidence-based practice. Many nurses lack the appropriate computer skill necessary searching electronic database and analyzing the results of research articles (Turkel et al., 2008, p. 27). Other factors that hinder evidence-based nursing practice include:
- tendency to resist change;
- lack of administrative support;
- lack of educated mentorship;
- insufficient time to conduct research;
- lack of training on the research protocol;
- lack of EBP concept;
- unavailability of research articles;
- limited time on the job to review research;
- research reports complexity;
- knowledge deficiency to understanding EBP, critique reports, and feeling strained by the process
Moreover, other barriers to evidence-based practice include the following as explored by Brown, Wickline, Ecoff, and Glaser (2009, p.8-16):
- lack of permission to change practice;
- organizational cultures rewarding routine, task-based practice;
- lack of access to resources;
- inadequate knowledge on statistics and critical analysis;
- undefined workplace expectations; and
- inconsistent basic knowledge and experience with research
On the other hand, facilitators of EBP include learning opportunities, resources availability and simplicity, and culture building.
Brown, C., Wickline, M., Ecoff, L., & Glaser, D. (2009). Nursing practice, knowledge Attitudes and perceived barriers to evidence-based practice at an academic Medical center. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(2), 1-33.
Buerhaus, P., & Needleman, J. (2000). Policy implications of research on nurse Staffing and quality of patient care. Policy Politics Nurs Practice, 1(1), 5-15.
Stanton, M. W. (2003). Hospital Nurse Staffing and Quality of Care. Rockville: U.S. Department of health & human services. Web.
Turkel, M. C., Ferket, K., Reidinger, G., & Beatty, D. E. (2008). Building a nursing Research fellowship in a community hospital. Nursing economics, 26(1), 26-34.