The solution to the problem of low nurse-to-patient ratio is an increase in the number of nurses and the addition of bonuses, which will incentivize them to stay longer on the job. However, implementing such a strategy would put additional stress on the healthcare organization’s finances, as well as require more attention toward hiring. Overall, there are four ways of tackling the staff deficit.
First, the organization has to extend its hiring policy to freshly trained nurses. It is generally assumed that nurse school graduates are not qualified enough, which disenfranchises them. However, in the time of need, hospitals have to use as many nursing staff as they can find, otherwise, numerous patients will be at risk. Second, hiring inexperienced nurses should be accompanied by mentorship from the more experienced staff. The only way to ensure that newcomers become better at their job is by gaining experience. However, nurse leaders have to supervise them more closely in order to minimize the risk of medical errors. A potential solution is to ask experienced nurses to share shifts with the newcomers. Third, it is possible to institute financial incentives, which would help the finance department distribute money accordingly. A healthcare organization may ask patients to evaluate nurses. Then, depending on patient feedback, nurses will be reimbursed according to their efforts to appease patients.
Finally, it is possible to employ some of the newcomers on a remote basis. For instance, if a patient cannot be admitted for the lack of healthcare professionals, nurses can deliver healthcare at home. Administration can assign patients to nurses without the latter having to work night shifts or even going to the hospital. Combined with the changes to hiring policy, cultivation of mentorship attitudes, and a system of financial reimbursement based on patient feedback, remote employment may incentivize more nurses to work in healthcare organizations.