NURS-6053 Module 2: Developing Organizational Policies and Practices in Nursing

NURS-6053 Module 2: Developing Organizational Policies and Practices in Nursing

Understanding the Healthcare Stressor

The healthcare field has been grappling with a pressing issue – increased workload leading to nurse burnout. This phenomenon has had adverse effects on healthcare organizations, causing reduced morale, heightened stress, and even depression among healthcare workers. The consequences ripple into decreased efficiency and a decline in the quality of care. Fatigue, exhaustion, and decreased focus, as a result of increased workloads, can lead to medical errors and decreased patient satisfaction. Notably, burnout also results in productivity loss, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. This paper aims to delve into the impact of burnout on nurses and explore effective solutions to alleviate this challenge.

Analysis of the Burden of Increased Workload and Nurse Burnout

Supporting Data

Data from various healthcare organizations confirm the substantial impact of burnout stemming from increased workloads. Studies show that medical errors due to burnout cost approximately $17.1 billion annually in the United States alone, as reported by the International Journal of Health Services. The American Journal of Health Promotion revealed that healthcare organizations suffer an 11% decrease in productivity and a 10% increase in absenteeism due to burnout. Furthermore, the American Journal of Nursing highlights a 25% surge in turnover rates due to burnout.

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Summary of the Scholarly Articles

One article by Christianson et al. (2022) scrutinizes the influence of COVID-19 on nurses’ intentions to leave the profession. It delves into the link between work-related burnout, compassion fatigue, and stress-induced feelings of exhaustion and emotional depletion. The study underscores that nurses with higher levels of burnout and compassion fatigue express greater intentions to leave the profession. Notably, these intentions are consistent regardless of factors like race, gender, or years of experience. The findings underscore the need for interventions focused on reducing burnout and compassion fatigue, especially in the context of the pandemic.

Another article by Olaleye et al. (2022) conducts a scoping review on nurse burnout and resiliency in critical care nurses. It explores the prevalence of burnout and factors contributing to it, such as work demands, workloads, working conditions, and job satisfaction. The article emphasizes the significance of resilience in countering burnout and suggests interventions to reduce it. These interventions include providing resources to nurses, enhancing communication, and establishing support systems. The need for further research to comprehend the factors affecting burnout and resiliency in critical care nurses is also emphasized.

Addressing Increased Workload and Nurse Burnout

Healthcare organizations are proactively addressing the challenge of increased workload and nurse burnout. One approach involves prioritizing nurse-patient ratios, often referred to as safe staffing. By adding more nurses to the workforce, hospitals and healthcare facilities can alleviate nurse workloads, thus ensuring that quality care is delivered to patients. Organizations are also focusing on nurse retention through improved work culture, competitive compensation, benefits, and flexible work schedules. These initiatives create an environment where nurses feel valued and supported for their dedication. Employee well-being is intricately linked to their work engagement (Jacobs et al., 2018).

Furthermore, healthcare organizations are investing in technology and resources that can automate certain aspects of care, such as electronic medical records, to streamline processes and save nurses’ time. Moreover, organizations are offering nurses additional training and education to keep them updated on the latest healthcare trends and technologies. By implementing these measures, healthcare organizations aim to mitigate nurse burnout and enhance patient care.

Summary of Strategies

Strategies for addressing nurse burnout stressors include increased managerial support and communication, the implementation of stress management and self-care programs, the creation of a supportive work environment, offering flexible working hours, job sharing, and shift rotation. Additionally, strategies involve workload balancing and task delegation and providing mentorship, coaching, and education. Resources like counseling, peer support, employee assistance programs, and advocacy for nurse wellness and safety are also integral to reducing nurse burnout and stress.

Impact on the Organization

The strategies outlined in the scholarly resources have the potential to positively impact an organization. They can enhance job satisfaction, reduce stress and burnout, and improve the quality of patient care (Jun et al., 2021). Additionally, these strategies may boost nurses’ productivity and creativity, reduce absenteeism, and elevate organizational morale. However, their effectiveness can be compromised if not implemented carefully, considering the organization’s specific needs and challenges. For instance, some strategies may not be feasible in resource-constrained settings. A one-size-fits-all approach may not work, and organizational context must be considered. Additionally, regulatory changes can influence the effectiveness of these strategies.

Developing Organizational Policies and Practices

Nurses play a pivotal role in healthcare but are increasingly burdened by workloads that surpass their capacity, leading to burnout. Current policies and regulations inadequately safeguard nurses from excessive workloads, stress, fatigue, and burnout. There is an urgent need for policy changes that support nurses and enable them to provide the best possible care. This section aims to examine the present state of nurse workloads, the consequences of increased workloads on nurses, and to identify policy adjustments that can mitigate nurse stress and enhance patient care.

Competing Needs

The competing needs concerning the healthcare stressor of increased workload and nurse burnout are patient care and nurse well-being. Healthcare organizations are tasked with delivering quality patient care while ensuring the well-being of their nursing staff. These two objectives can sometimes be at odds as organizations must strike a balance between delivering quality care and preventing nurse burnout (Milliken, 2018). For example, hiring additional nurses to ensure quality care might increase nurse workloads and potentially lead to burnout. Organizations must proactively provide resources and support to nurses to harmonize these competing needs and ensure high-quality patient care.

Relevant Policy in the Organization

The pertinent policy or practice in our organization that can influence the healthcare stressor of increased workload and nurse burnout is our nurse-patient ratio policy. Our organization has implemented a policy that enforces nurse-patient ratios to guarantee quality care and mitigate nurse burnout (Olaleye et al., 2022). This policy ensures that the right number of nurses is always available to provide safe and effective care according to the number of patients in the facility. It reduces nurse workloads and promotes quality patient care. Moreover, it aids in reducing nurse burnout by providing nurses with the necessary resources and support.

Critique of Policy

The nurse-patient ratio policy has several ethical considerations. First, it has the potential to enhance patient safety by ensuring that nurses can deliver top-quality care to all patients. This is an ethical consideration as it safeguards patients’ well-being and respects their rights. Second, the policy can reduce nurse burnout, which is an ethical consideration as it prioritizes the well-being of nurses (Kelly & Porr, 2018). The policy’s strengths in promoting ethics include prioritizing patient care and nurse well-being (Van der Heijden et al., 2019). The challenges lie in the feasibility of the policy in some healthcare

settings, particularly those with financial and resource constraints. It may only effectively reduce nurse burnout if the organization provides additional resources and support to nurses. Additionally, the policy’s effectiveness can be influenced by changes in regulations and policies.

Recommended Policy

One potential policy change to address the competing needs of resources, workers, and patients is the implementation of a nurse wellness program (Belton, 2018). This program could provide nurses with resources such as counseling and peer support to help them manage their workload and stress levels (Christianson et al., 2022). Moreover, it could offer educational opportunities, such as webinars and seminars, to keep nurses updated on the latest healthcare trends and technologies (Raso, 2018). The program could also include incentives like extra vacation days to recognize and reward nurses for their hard work. Furthermore, it could introduce flexible working hours, job sharing, and shift rotation to help nurses manage their workloads. By adopting this program, organizations can effectively balance the needs of resources, workers, and patients while addressing ethical concerns associated with existing policies.


Nurse burnout is a significant issue affecting both nurses and the quality of patient care. The implementation of a nurse wellness program can effectively strike a balance between resource constraints, worker well-being, and patient care. This program would equip nurses with resources, educational opportunities, incentives, and flexible work arrangements. In doing so, healthcare organizations ensure the well-being of their nursing staff and maintain high standards of patient care. Ultimately, this policy change aligns with ethical principles and can contribute to enhanced patient care quality while upholding organizational values.


Belton, S. (2018). Caring for the caregivers: Making the case for mindfulness-based wellness programming to support nurses and prevent staff turnover. Nursing economics36(4), 191-195.

Christianson, J., Johnson, N., Nelson, A., & Singh, M. (2022). Work-Related Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, and Nurse Intention to Leave the Profession During COVID-19. Nurse Leader.

Jacobs, B., McGovern, J., Heinmiller, J., & Drenkard, K. (2018). Engaging employees in well-being: Moving from the triple aim to the quadruple aim. Nursing Administration Quarterly42(3), 231–245.

Jun, J., Ojemeni, M. M., Kalamani, R., Tong, J., & Crecelius, M. L. (2021). Relationship between nurse burnout, patient and organizational outcomes: Systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies119, 103933.

Kelly, P., & Porr, C. (2018). Ethical nursing care versus cost containment: Considerations to enhance RN practice. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing23(1).

Milliken, A. (2018). Ethical awareness: what it is and why it matters. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing23(1).

Olaleye, T. T., Christianson, T. M., & Hoot, T. J. (2022). Nurse burnout and resiliency in critical care nurses: a scoping review. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences17, 100461.

Raso, R. (2018). The state of nurse leader wellness: Results of the nursing management wellness survey. Nursing Management49(2), 24-31

Van der Heijden, B., Brown Mahoney, C., & Xu, Y. (2019). Impact of job demands and resources on nurses’ burnout and occupational turnover intention towards an age-moderated mediation model for the nursing profession. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health16(11), 2011.

White, E. M., Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D. M., & McHugh, M. D. (2020). Nursing home work environment, care quality, registered nurse burnout and job dissatisfaction. Geriatric Nursing41(2), 158-164.

To Prepare:

  • Review the national healthcare issue/stressor you examined in your Assignment for Module 1, and review the analysis of the healthcare issue/stressor you selected.
  • Identify and review two evidence-based scholarly resources that focus on proposed policies/practices to apply to your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
  • Reflect on the feedback you received from your colleagues on your Discussion post regarding competing needs.

The Assignment (1-2 pages):

Developing Organizational Policies and Practices

Add a section to the 2-3 page paper you submitted in Module 1. The new section should address the following in 1-2 pages:

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  • Identify and describe at least two competing needs impacting your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
  • Describe a relevant policy or practice in your organization that may influence your selected healthcare issue/stressor.
  • Critique the policy for ethical considerations, and explain the policy’s strengths and challenges in promoting ethics.
  • Recommend one or more policy or practice changes designed to balance the competing needs of resources, workers, and patients, while addressing any ethical shortcomings of the existing policies. Be specific and provide examples.
  • Cite evidence that informs the healthcare issue/stressor and/or the policies, and provide two scholarly resources in support of your policy or practice recommendations.
  • Due to the nature of this assignment, your instructor may require more than 7 days to provide you with quality feedback.

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