Research Paper Sample on the Effects of Nurse Staff Ratios to Patient Safety

Published: 2022-08-05
Research Paper Sample on the Effects of Nurse Staff Ratios to Patient Safety
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Healthcare Nursing care
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 876 words
8 min read

The problem discussed in this research paper is how the nurse-to-patient ratios in healthcare impact the medical safety of patients. The topic of nurse-patient ratios often comes up in most discussion on healthcare. This ratio refers to the minimum number of nurses employed on a certain unit/ward compared to the number of patients frequenting the same hospital. When the number of nurses needed to care for patients is far lower than the minimum number required, a nurse ratio problem arises. This problem is facing healthcare in most countries today. With few nurses, many patients, and excessive bookkeeping, there is not enough time left for doing the actual care on the patient (Morioka et al., 2017). Following this situation, a number of problems like nurse fatigue from too much work, deprived patient care, and reduced patient safety emerge. As a result, a moral problem arises since the hailing deserves the immediate and quality care.

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Clinical Question

The key clinical question in this research paper is: do nurse-patient ratios have any effects on patient safety?

The population to be considered is patients in a healthcare setting.

Intervening by growing the ratio of nursing staff to patients.

The comparison of patent mortality or safety between the Health Centre and others with high nurse patent ratios.

The outcome increases patient safety and a reduction in mortality rates.

The time variable is for every nursing shift.

In this research paper, the independent variable is the ratio of nursing to staff to patients while the dependent variable is the safety of the patients.

After leaving a nursing school and joining a healthcare facility, every nurse is required to deliver the best possible care to all the patients that they encounter. However, if the nurse doesn't a certain number of helping hands (either nurse or support staff), the heavyweight they have to lift every day makes it difficult/impossible to provide quality care which the patients are in need of (Shekelle, 2013). Also, the result of this excessive work may also present another challenge of fatigue which affects the quality of care offered. The purpose of this paper is to explore the validity and search for evidence of the argument that enough nurse staff is directly correlated to reducing patient accidents and patient safety as well as being good for both patients and nurses.

Levels of Evidence

In this paper, the PICO question under phrased above is a quantitative statistical question. A lot of evidence exists that support the claim that more staff has an effect on nurse performance, quality of care and patient outcomes. The goal of this research was to locate as many resources as possible that back this claim. Most resources found were observational (longitudinal and cross-sectional) and so they didn't interfere with their subjects. The most common variable used in the assessments was nursing time per patient. This type of evidence best fits to answer the given PICO question. by randomization, all of the resources provided random variables by collecting samples from hospitals located all over the country, and so the outcomes do not have a predictable pattern. Therefore, the resources present enough evidence of the effects of nurse-patient ratios on patient safety.

Search Strategy

By using the newly released Google dataset search engine that offers a quick and more reliable search for scientific studies from millions of datasets than any other platform available, I entered the phrase "nurse-patient ratio". This gave off a handful of results related to the query. To narrow down the search, I added "patient safety" to narrow down the search. I didn't need to add advanced filters to the search settings since the new engine is smart enough to figure that out without any external input. After going through result suggested by google dataset, I identified two most suitable resources to help answer the PICO question and provide the evidence required to confirm the claims about the effects of nurse ratios to patient safety. These two included "The association between higher nurse staffing standards in the fee schedules and the geographic distribution of hospital nurses: A cross-sectional study using nationwide administrative data." by Morioka et al., and "Nurse-patient ratios as a patient safety strategy: a systematic review" by Paul Shekelle. These resources fitted most because they contained enough statistical evidence to answer the PICO question.


Through formulating a PICO question and using evidence-based articles, it was possible to find the necessary proof, with the aid of quantitative data, that the nurse staffing has a direct effect on patient safety. Also, the studies indicated that patient safety is a common problem in a huge problem in many health centers across the country. To mitigate this problem, more the minimum number of RNs per hospital should be increased. This would not only improve patient outcomes but also increase the well-being of the nurses. However, a number of challenges, like financing issues will need to be overcome to accomplish this goal.


Morioka, N., Tomio, J., Seto, T., & Kobayashi, Y. (2017). The association between highernurse staffing standards in the fee schedules and the geographic distribution ofhospital nurses: A cross-sectional study using nationwide administrative data. BMC Nursing, 16(1), 25.

Shekelle, P. G. (2013). Nurse-patient ratios as a patient safety strategy: a systematic review. Annals of Internal Medicine, 158(5_Part_2), 404-409.

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Research Paper Sample on the Effects of Nurse Staff Ratios to Patient Safety. (2022, Aug 05). Retrieved from

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