Organizational Policies and Practices to Support Healthcare Issues

Organizational Policies and Practices to Support Healthcare Issues

Health practice is a profession of competing needs. On one end, healthcare professionals have a legal, ethical, and professional mandate to provide quality and safe patient care. On the other end, they must meet the desired outcomes without constraining health care resources. Healthcare professionals must also prioritize self-care and ensure that they are physically and mentally stable to address patient needs.

Competing Needs and Policy Development

The health practice cannot function without policies. Health policies provide guidelines and protocols on delivering health and achieving specific outcomes (Sholl & Rattan, 2020). Addressing competing needs can be challenging, particularly when they make healthcare delivery challenging. Competing needs lead to dilemmas and can lead to abuse of the workforce. For instance, nurses can be required to work for longer shifts in response to the rising number of diabetic patients. They can also be assigned new roles depending on situational pressures like witnessed as healthcare organizations cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Such changes in healthcare delivery may fuel the development of a policy to guide roles’ delegation, workforce compensation, and motivation, among other needs.

Competing Needs Impacting Nursing Shortage

Nursing shortage is a severe healthcare issue. The pressure to meet organizational objectives may trigger nurse turnover, further amplifying the nursing shortage problem. Many nurses also opt to quit if unable to cope with the mental and emotional pressures of the job (Miligi et al., 2019). Nursing shortage inhibits delivering quality, safe, and satisfactory care. The eventual turnover also makes healthcare organizations spend heavily on recruitment and training. Due to such adverse impacts, it is crucial to implement policies to address competing needs. For instance, emergency hiring plans and special contracting systems ensure that there are adequate nurses to address increasing patient needs (Park & Yu, 2019). Rural allowance policies would be effective in encouraging nurses to work in rural areas.

Competing needs are a central component of the challenging health practice. Healthcare organizations, patients, healthcare professionals, have unique needs. Since these needs must be addressed and affect health outcomes significantly, policies are essential. Such policies include emergency hiring plans to cope with the nursing shortage problem.






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Sholl, J., & Rattan, S. I. S. (2020). Explaining health across the sciences. Springer.

Any healthcare system is characterized by unending challenges encompassing the need to balance the available resources in the context of an organization’s needs and guarantee effective, quality, and safe patient care (Calvert et al., 2019). In most cases, these needs compete against one another since compromise on one negatively affects the other. The most common element is the desire to deliver high-quality services while seeking to control the healthcare organization’s costs. While every healthcare organization aspires to deliver the best quality of services to its patients, the ever-growing needs of the population are characterized by ballooning number of old aged patients seeking services and increased access to health insurance implying more people are seeking medical services in health institutions, the need to integrate technology in improving quality of service and the enduring nurse shortage are making its realization a challenge (Sloane et al., 2018). The increasedmedical needs amid the ever-growing nurse shortage problems only exacerbate the problem as the available nurses are overworked, poorly motivated, and experiencing stress and burnout. These attributes reduce the quality of care, primarily because of increased medical errors and hospital-acquiredinfections (Chegini et al., 2020). Because of these challenges, it becomes imperative for policies to be formulated to set the tone and establish guidelines on how interventions address the issue in healthcare facilities. 

Specific Competing Needs Impacting Nurse Staff Shortage 

The challenge posed by the nurse shortage is experienced nationally, with projections being that it will grow into the future. The core ethical consideration in the assessment of nurse staff shortage is the obligation of a healthcare organization to deliver quality services, ensure patient safety, maintain staff morale, and at the same time, remain profitable by managing their operation costs (Kelly & Porr, 2018). Every organization seeks to maintain an excellent nurse-to-patient ratio as it will create an environment whereby nurses are not overworked to theextent that the quality and safety of care delivered arecompromised while ensuring the organization remains profitable(Holland et al., 2019). Addressing the challenge posed by nurse shortages, such as burnout, depression, attribution, medical errors, and quality services, by having sufficient nurse staff in all departments creates an environment where both the staff and the patients are satisfied, thus facilitating the profitability of the organization.

Impacts and How Policy Addresses the Competing Needs

The immediate impact of the nurse staff shortage is that the available nurses are overworked, working longer shifts or more shifts than expected if the staffing was sufficient.

Interesting post Precious and I agreed with your point,  increasing staff shortages with increasing care demands, resulting in provider burnout.  Nurses are a critical part of healthcare and make up the largest section of the health profession. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), research study in regards to the World Health Statistics Report, there are approximately 29 million nurses and midwives globally, with 3.9 million of those individuals in the United States. Estimates of upwards of one million additional nurses will be needed by 2020. Also, more registered nurse jobs will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030. Employment opportunities for nurses are projected to grow at a faster rate (9%) than all other occupations from 2016 through 2026. (Rya & Shim, 2021).

The nursing profession continues to face shortages due to various reasons such as lack of potential educators, high turnover, inequitable workforce distribution and nurses burnout. Nurse’s burnout in my opinion is a big issue and plays a significant reasons for shortage of nurses, some nurses graduate and start working and then determine the profession is not what they thought it would be. Others may work a while and experience burnout and leave the profession. Research quoted by the American Nurses Association indicates that in hospitals or facility where nurse burnout rates are high, patient health outcomes and reported levels of satisfaction are lower. This means that curbing nurse burnout is crucial for the safety and overall well-being of both patients and nurses. (Cappelucci 2020)


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Ryu, I. S., & Shim, J. L. (2021). The influence of burnout on patient safety management activities of shift nurses: The mediating effect of compassion satisfaction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(22), 12210. to an external site.

Shah, M. K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J. P., Ghose, N., Moore, M., & Ali, M. K. (2021). Prevalence of and factors associated with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA Network Open, 4(2). to an external site.

There are many problems going on in healthcare today. Staffing issues are a large part. This affects everyone across the board. Another problem that i see daily is the rising costs of healthcare. Covid brought about many things. At the time a positive impact was everyone being eligible for healthcare insurance. The area I work in is caring for individuals infected with HIV. This disease affects many people are young and this is the first time they have been told they are not healthy. Many of the individuals are healthy and may not have health insurance. The medications that the patients need daily are very expensive. Part of nurses duties are to provide good care for the patients and try and contain costs. (Kelly & Porr, 2018). Patients are newly diagnosed and majority of their fears are not getting their medications and not being well. We always try and find the most cost effective care for the patients. Competing demands also come into play. At times the patients need other services as well as needing the medications for this problem. At this time HIV also has some comorbidities associated with it. So this becomes apart of the problem with many not having access to health insurance. ( Korownyk et al, 2017). The code of ethics for nurses has an area that states that we must make sure to care for patients as best we can with the resources we have while keeping costs down. We continue to look for ways to make sure that these patients get the care they need, while keeping care affordable for them.




Kelly, P., & Porr, C. (2018). Ethical nursing care versus cost containment: Considerations to enhance rn practice. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing23(1). Retrieved March 15, 2023, from to an external site.

korownyk, C., mccormack, J., kolber, M. R., garrison, S., & allan, G. (2017). Competing demands and opportunities in primary care. Canadian Family Physician63(9), 664–668. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from