The most effective way of determining if a unit has “staffing adequacy” and the right skill mix is performing a needs assessment of the unit. Leaders should design and use tools for determining staffing levels through evaluation of patient needs. For example, a tool such as the Safer Nursing Care Tool (SNCT) can be used to assess the effectiveness in addressing patient needs based on the level of staffing and the skills of the available nurses.
Core scheduling depends on the level of the demand for nurses in the unit. It depends on the number of available nurses against the number of patients receiving care in the unit. The demand should be established and well-defined. The supply aspect should also be established and defined, such as the number of nurses who will be available to serve a certain number of patients for a particular duration. The schedule induces the workloads (part time and full time) and the rules (the particular shift).
Information is obtained from the outcome of a unit to determine the “effectiveness” of the current staffing. The effectiveness evaluation information focuses on the level of care to patients and staffing outcomes. For example, the information includes number of satisfied patients served in a single day. The information relates to the overall productivity and supports performance improvement measures, depending on the outcome of the staff effectiveness evaluation.
- Autonomy manifests itself in nursing when patients decide to exercise their right to make decisions over their care. For instance, the right of patients to receive care.
- Beneficence manifests itself in the importance of the nurse to provide care that benefits the patient, such as researching the most effective intervention to treat a particular ailment.
- Non-Maleficence is the need for the nurse to avoid harming the patient, such as avoiding a decision that could have a negative outcome and harm the patient.
- Justice relates to the fairness of medical decisions. The aspect can be understood when a nurse leader allocates resources equally to treat all patients in the unit.