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NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 1 Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue

Student Name

Capella University

NHS-FPX 6008 Economics and Decision Making in Health Care

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Identification of an Economic Issue Related to HealthCare

A review by Griffiths et al., 2023 included 23 observational studies from multiple countries, including the U.S., indicating that staffing more nurses in general ICU/surgical ward staffing in the U.S. would represent a highly cost-effective policy. Conversely, policies that reduce the number of nurses might lead to increased healthcare costs (Griffiths et al., 2023). Another study found that lower staffing levels are linked to higher levels of missed care (Cho et al., 2019). Nearby communities or populations are susceptible to being affected by this issue. It is essential to resolve this issue to improve patient outcomes. 

Objectives of the Identified Healthcare Economic Issue 

The choice of insufficient nurse staffing as a healthcare economic issue is derived from the findings of a systematic review (Twigg et al., 2021). In low- and middle-income groups of people, low nurse-to-patient ratios or excessive nursing workloads cause hospital-acquired infections, prescription mistakes, and treatment abandonment. In addition, inadequate staffing results in adverse nurse workforce outcomes, such as burnout, intent to leave, and absenteeism. The economic effect of insufficient nurse staffing is realized in increased healthcare costs due to extended hospital stays (Assaye et al., 2020). Addressing this issue is necessary to optimize healthcare delivery and control healthcare spending (Bae, 2021). In my experience, I observed ICU patients are more likely to experience death due to prolonged waiting because of low nurse staffing. Intent to leave and turnover rates in nursing have surged in 2021, resulting in an RN loss of about 2.5 percent in 2021. A Health Affairs study confirmed the loss of mid-tenure nurses aged 35–49 (Berlin, 2023).

Impact of Inadequate Nurse Staffing on Diverse Groups

Insufficient nurse staffing has far-reaching impacts, affecting patient care, nurses’ well-being, colleagues, and the wider community. The relationship between dropping nursing care and modifications to hospital work conditions, nurse staffing, and other factors was investigated in a study by Lake et al., 2020. According to findings, staffing can effectively reduce care compromises and economic burdens, and nurse managers must evaluate work settings for areas needing change (Lake et al., 2020).

At the individual nurse level, short staffing in nursing has significant effects in two main areas: Patient care and the nurses themselves. On the one hand, high demands and increased workload due to short staffing can have a high cost for patients. The increased stress and demands can, in turn, lead to high levels of burnout. These factors can significantly affect nurse morale and job satisfaction because feeling unable to provide quality patient care can discourage nurses. Besides, this situation can decrease job satisfaction, result in negative long hours, and cause relentless work pressure for nurses. (Study Smarter, 2024 and Levins, 2023). 

Inadequate nurse staffing significantly impacts many areas in healthcare organizations and communities. An insufficiency in the number of nursing staff increased my colleagues’ workloads, overtime work, and stress. The functionality and workflow of the overall organization were also affected, which increased turnover rates and created a more significant financial burden in recruiting new nurses (Griffiths et al., 2023). My coworkers left primarily due to nursing burnout and lack of job satisfaction, which exacerbated our hospital’s functionality. Insufficient nurse staffing also has a profound effect on the community. Our community includes diverse and low-socioeconomic groups struggling to access healthcare services. This is because of prolonged hospital stays due to low staffing, which exacerbates their illness, ultimately causing a financial crisis (Assaye et al., 2020).

Gap Contributing to the Inadequate Nurse Staffing

Evidence from a review by Tamata & Mohammadnezhad, 2022 highlights the importance of undergraduate nurse education in addressing inadequate nurse staffing and its impact on nurse retention. However, the study also emphasizes the necessity of adequately preparing nurses for practical difficulties, such as managing workload and emotional strain. One strategy to lessen the adverse effects of low staffing on nurse retention could be to improve undergraduate nursing education to foster resilience and confidence in students. Also improving the work environment to attract students to choose nursing professions. Ultimately, healthcare institutions must address this to value nurses and promote their well-being. (Collard et al., 2020).

Moreover, the challenges in undergraduate nurses’ education need to be addressed. These challenges may be pandemics and financial crises in lower-class people (Dewart et al., 2020). Due to lower staffing, the little time nurses are often left which affects their skill development or career progression opportunities. Hence, the inability to learn and hone the vast array of skills that the profession requires is another area where short staffing can have a significant impact on individual nurses (Study Smarter, 2024 and Levins, 2023). 


The selection of the healthcare economic issue was based on a correlation between lower staffing levels and high rates of patient care deficiencies, which can impact treatment quality and patient safety, increasing the cost of treatment in ICU/surgical units. Adverse outcomes for the nursing workforce include burnout and inadequate staffing. Despite the staffing data, this issue has not received enough attention overall, particularly in undergraduate nursing education. Knowledge and comprehension of efficient staffing techniques are among the gaps in this issue that need to be filled to minimize the effects of understaffing and maximize care provision. It is critical to address this issue to maintain healthcare professionals’ health and control healthcare expenses.


Assaye, A. M., Wiechula, R., Schultz, T. J., & Feo, R. (2020). The impact of nurse staffing on patient and nurse workforce outcomes in acute care settings in low- and middle-income countries. JBI Evidence SynthesisPublish Ahead of Print(4). https://doi.org/10.11124/jbisrir-d-19-00426 

Bae, S. (2021). Intensive care nurse staffing and nurse outcomes: A systematic review. Nursing in Critical Care26(6), 457–466. https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12588 

Berlin, G. (2023, May 5). How hospitals are confronting the nursing shortage | McKinsey. Www.mckinsey.com. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare/our-insights/nursing-in-2023 

Cho, S., Lee, J., You, S. J., Song, K. J., & Hong, K. J. (2019). Nurse staffing, nurses prioritization, missed care, quality of nursing care, and nurse outcomes. International Journal of Nursing Practice26(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/ijn.12803 

Collard, S. S., Scammell, J., & Tee, S. (2020). Closing the gap on nurse retention: A scoping review of implications for undergraduate education. Nurse Education Today84(84), 104253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104253 

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 1 Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue

Dewart, G., Corcoran, L., Thirsk, L., & Petrovic, K. (2020). Nursing education in a pandemic: Academic challenges in response to COVID-19. Nurse Education Today92(104471), 104471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2020.104471 

Griffiths, P., Saville, C., Ball, J., Dall’Ora, C., Meredith, P., Turner, L., & Jones, J. (2023). Costs and cost-effectiveness of improved nurse staffing levels and skill mix in acute hospitals: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies147(147), 104601. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2023.104601 

Lake, E. T., Riman, K. A., & Sloane, D. M. (2020). Improved work environments and staffing lead to less missed nursing care: A panel study. Journal of Nursing Management28(8). https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12970 

Levins, H. (2023, January 9). How inadequate hospital staffing continues to burn out nurses and threaten patients. Penn LDI. https://ldi.upenn.edu/our-work/research-updates/how-inadequate-hospital-staffing-continues-to-burn-out-nurses-and-threaten-patients/ 

Study Smarter. (2024). Staffing in nursing: Issues, models & effects | StudySmarter. StudySmarter UK. https://www.studysmarter.co.uk/explanations/nursing/nursing-management/staffing-in-nursing/ 

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 1 Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue

Tamata, A. T., & Mohammadnezhad, M. (2022). A systematic review study on the factors affecting shortage of nursing workforce in the hospitals. Nursing Open10(3), 1247–1257. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.1434 

Twigg, D. E., Whitehead, L., Doleman, G., & El‐Zaemey, S. (2021). The impact of nurse staffing methodologies on nurse and patient outcomes: A systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing77(12). https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.14909 

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