Reducing Patient to Nurse Ratio Improve Patient Outcome


ReducingPatient to Nurse Ratio Improve Patient Outcome

Patientoutcome is of immense importance, when it comes to the health carefacilities. In providing care, health care facilities should alwaysensure that patients receive safe and quality care. However, this hasnot always been the case since the patient to nurse ratio in mosthealth care facilities has been remarkably high. In some cases,hospitals have considered having a limited number of nurses in anattempt to increase their profits. However, this has resulted in poorpatient satisfaction. Studies have indicated that high patient tonurse ratios have been the chief cause of nurse burnout, which makenurses not deliver safe and quality care to patients (Vincent, 2010).When one nurse is scheduled to serve a high number of patients, thereis a likelihood of the nurse becoming exhausted due to overworking amove that can affect how the nurse delivers. Health care facilitieshaving high to patient ratio have an increased risk of experiencingpoor patient outcomes amid the hospitalized patients because thenurses will feel exhausted serving a high number of hospitalizedpatients. Besides, patient outcomes are likely to be poor, when thereis high patient to nurse ratio because nurses may become dissatisfiedby the work that they are scheduled to do in serving the high numberof patients.

Theissue of high nurse to patient ratio is of great importance due toits impacts. A high nurse to patient ratio can be perceived as thechief cause of high mortality rates. A high number of patients maybecome hospitalized, but the number of nurses attending to thehospitalized patients may be very small. In such a scenario, manypatients may die due to lack of attendance or due to poor careprovided because of nurses’ exhaustion. Besides, the high nurse topatient ratio has also be the chief cause of poor health caredelivery, resulting in poor patient outcomes. Every employee isperceived to be motivated by his/her job if he/she operates to theoptimum and is not overworked. In a situation, where a worker isoverworked, it is very obvious that he/she cannot be motivated towork. Therefore, through overworking nurses by providing a schedulewhere one nurse is to serve a high number of patients, nurses becomediscouraged to work and as a result do not provide services to theoptimum, which implies that patients receive poor services. To thenurses, it is as result of high nurse to patient ratio that they feelfatigued to operate a move that lead to poor patient outcomes.Experienced nurses may see it necessary to leave the nursingprofession due to dissatisfaction that may emanate from burnout(Teeter &amp Gardner-Webb University, 2014). In such a situation,the health care delivery would be left under inexperienced nurses ornurses having low skills in the field. As a result, patients arelikely to suffer because they would receive poor and ineffectiveservices from the inexperienced or lowly skilled nurses.

Inorder to resolve the issue of poor patient outcome, there is a needto reduce the nurse to patient ratio. Because of the high patient tonurse ratio, it is evident that the number of patient complicationshave increased. There are increased cases of patient complications asa result nurses not being in a position to serve a large number ofpatients. Reducing the patient to nurse ratio would aid nurses toserve patients fast and avoid complications (Suzanne et al., 2012).Reducing the patient to nurse ratio would entail the enhancement ofpatient satisfaction. A reduced patient to nurse ratio would improvepatient satisfaction since one nurse is likely to have few number ofpatients that he/she can attend to this implies increased patientsatisfaction because a patient would not be required to wait for longbefore being attended to by a nurse. By serving a large number ofpatients, nurses are likely to get exhausted, which may affect themanner in which nurses carry out their duty. However, throughreducing patient to nurse ratio, nurses would be capable of workingat their optimum, thus improving patient outcomes.

Inaddition, through attending to a small number of patients, nurseswould be in a position to deliver at their optimum since they wouldbe motivated to work since they are not fatigued. Furthermore, areduction in the patient to nurse ratio would be of immense benefitbecause it would aid in providing effective and safe care. Because ofthe high patient to nurse ratio, nurses are not in a position toprovide effective and safe care. This has resulted in increasedmortality rate since nurses are not capable of providing the highnumber of patients with effective care. On the other hand, with areduced patient to nurse ratio, nurses would be capable of providingpatients with effective and safe care a move that would help indecreasing mortality rates (Suzanne et al., 2012). At times, nurseshave not been in a position to attend to a high number of patientsthat have emergency cases, but with the reduced patient to nurseratio, nurses would capable of attending to high number of emergencycases thus eliminating some deaths that emanate from high patient tonurse ratio. Moreover, a reduced nurse to patient ratio is likely tolead to retention of professional nurses, which would critical in theimprovement of patient outcomes (Teeter &amp Gardner-WebbUniversity, 2014).


Suzanne,G., John, B. &amp Tanya, B. (2012). Safetyin Numbers: Nurse-to-Patient Ratios and the Future of Health Care.Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Vincent,C. (2010). PatientSafety.New York, NY: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Teeter,K., &amp Gardner-Webb University. (2014). Relationshipbetween job satisfaction and nurse to patient ratio with nurseburnout.Boiling Springs, North Carolina: Gardner-Webb University.