Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

ProgramLevel Student Learning Outcomes

The hospital setting often relies on certain practice guidelines thatthe nurses and other staff are supposed to comply with. The fifth SLOalso insists that the nurses should “apply practice guidelines toimprove practice and the care environment.” However, a number ofproblems in the care environment such as the lower nurse-to-patientratio often undermines the service delivery. Most nurses working inhospitals that have lower staffing ratios have reported burn-out andstress that has undermined the accuracy in the treatment plan theyimplement and efficiency in the operations. More importantly, whenthe nurses comply with the practice guidelines, they will reduce themedical errors that they might make. This paper will illustrate howthe practice guidelines help in guiding the hospital management touse a proper nurse-to-patient ratio that will improve the practice aswell as the care environment.


Identify variousContributions and that Roles the Nurse have in Healthcare

The nurses are supposed to offer the best services that will enhancethe treatment plan and make sure that the patients benefit from theentire arrangement. However, that cannot be achieved when thenurse-to-patient ratio is lower since such a scenario will reduce thequality of care instead. In some cases, the nurses will have to dealwith a high number of patients, and that will lead to burn-out andstress. In fact, burn-out and stress are the key elements that willinterfere with the ability of the nurse to prioritize efficiencywhile undertaking some of the roles she has in a particular shift(Stimpfel et al., 2012). Hence, the hospital’s management needs tocreate a proper nurse to patient ratio that will enhance the abilityof the nurse to make informed decisions and rely on theevidence-based practice. In this case, the practice guidelines alsosuggest that the nurses should deal with a manageable population ofthe patients so as to boost the efficiency in the operations. In theend, the fact that the nurses incorporate the practice guidelines intheir duties will help in making the care environment safer for thepatients.

Compare andContrast specific Healthcare Policies

In some cases, the healthcare policies such as the financialincentives and prioritization of the quality of care might be anissue that will influence the nurse to patient ratios. For instance,the hospital might receive less financial incentives from the federalgovernment, and they will devise ways to reduce the overalloperations costs. They might believe that reducing the number ofnurses will save more funds and help the hospital in dealing withother pressing issues (Khamisa et al., 2013). However, the hospitalmanagement will forget that they are still required to maintain thequality of care. Hence, there is the need to align each of thedecisions with the practice guidelines that stress on the safety andthe quality of care being a priority. That will make the hospitalmanagement to increase the staffing ratio to ensure that the nursesoffer the best treatment plan and rely on evidence-based practice tohelp the patients to recover as well.

Examine EthicalIssues and Decisions faced in Healthcare

At times, the nurses are faced with some ethical dilemmas where theyhave to make important decisions that will improve the patientoutcomes. However, a lower staffing ratio means that the nurses willbe emotionally disturbed and that will interfere with their abilityto make rational decisions when they are faced with some of theethical dilemmas. In fact, the nurses are expected to make importantdecisions that will reduce medical errors (Papathanassoglou et al.,2012). Hence, if a lower staffing ratios result in stress andburnout it is more likely that the nurse will make more medicalerrors. The practice guidelines insist on the way that the nursesshould rely on avoiding harm, doing good, and even seeking the truthin all their decisions. Such decisions help the nurses in improvingthe practice as well as the care environment. The hospital managementwill achieve such objectives if they decide to increase the staffingratios and makes sure that the patients have enough nurses to helpthem in their recovery process. All in all, ethical decisions remaina priority that the hospital managements should follow.

Evaluate variousGlobal Healthcare Delivery Systems

A look at the global healthcare delivery systems such as the ones inthe US, Canada, and Germany reveal how they are all experiencing thesame problem that is the lower staffing ratios. More importantly,each of the healthcare delivery systems prioritizes the practiceguidelines since the nurses should implement accurate treatmentplans. However, implementing the accurate treatment plans will be aproblem if the hospitals a lower staffing ratio. In fact, the nurseswill be forced to deal with a large number of patients at a time. Inthe process, the likelihood of making irrational decisions will behigher as well. Most of them also promote wellness and prioritize thecontinuum of care in the nursing setting (You et al., 2013). Riskmanagement and the quality improvement are the two other aspects thatmost systems around the world focus on. To achieve the improvement,the various hospitals will need enough modern facilities and enoughnurses that will be able to identify the illnesses that the patientshave. The various initiatives reveal how the nurses follow thepractice guidelines to improve the care environment.

Programs LevelStudent Learning Outcomes

The issue of the nurse-to-patient ratio is an important lesson to theprograms level student learning outcomes since it helps one inunderstanding how the staffing schedules should be created. Morespecifically, the continuous program is critical in providing theknowledge that will nurture the skills of the nurses and also helpthem in dealing with scenarios where they have to deal with a lowerstaffing ratio instead. The knowledge and the evidence-based practiceare quite critical in ensuring that the nurses will offer improvedservices (Mosadeghrad, 2013). For instance, the assessment plan willincrease their experience and instruct them on how to comply with thepractice guidelines in the nursing setting. Evidently, the problemhighlights the challenges that the nurses undergo and it urges thehospital management to improve the care environment by increasing thestaffing ratio instead.


In conclusion, the nurse-to-patient ratio has turned out to be aproblem that the various hospital managements should deal with toreduce the higher mortality rate and the reduced quality of care. Inthis case, most of the nurses tend to suffer from burn-out and stressthat make it hard to implement rational and ethical decisions. Infact, most of the people managing the hospital managements should usethe practice guidelines in undertaking some of the medical functionsand facilitate the service delivery in the care environment. Morespecifically, there is the need to prioritize accuracy in thedecision-making and rely on the evidence-based approaches toimplement certain treatment plans. The practice guidelines willdirect the nurses in ensuring that they are making accurate decisionsand create the best care environment. In fact, the practiceguidelines and a higher nurse-to-patient ratio will also reduce anymedical errors that they might experience. All in all, it is clearthat the fifth SLO still makes an important part of thedecision-making process in nursing.


Khamisa, N., Peltzer, K., &amp Oldenburg, B. (2013). Burnout inrelation to specific contributing factors and health outcomes amongnurses: A systematic review. International journal ofenvironmental research and public health, 10(6),2214-2240.

Mosadeghrad, A. M. (2013). Occupational stress and turnoverintention: implications for nursing management. Internationaljournal of health policy and management, 1(2), 169-176.

Papathanassoglou, E. D., Karanikola, M. N., Kalafati, M.,Giannakopoulou, M., Lemonidou, C., &amp Albarran, J. W. (2012).Professional autonomy, collaboration with physicians, and moraldistress among European intensive care nurses. American Journal ofCritical Care, 21(2), e41-e52.—ethics

Stimpfel, A. W., Sloane, D. M., &amp Aiken, L. H. (2012). The longerthe shifts for hospital nurses, the higher the levels of burnout andpatient dissatisfaction. Health Affairs, 31(11),2501-2509.

You, L. M., Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D. M., Liu, K., He, G. P., Hu, Y.,… &amp Shang, S. M. (2013). Hospital nursing, care quality, andpatient satisfaction: cross-sectional surveys of nurses and patientsin hospitals in China and Europe. International journal of nursingstudies, 50(2), 154-161.