Healthcare Leaders' Perceptions About the Nursing Shortage: A Qualitative Collective Case Study

Healthcare Leaders' Perceptions About the Nursing Shortage: A Qualitative Collective Case Study

Author: 
Edith Amadi
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
The nursing shortage is a global and social problem in which the demand for nurses caring for patients is greater than the supply, thereby threatening patients’ safety, quality care, and nurse retention. The problem is that two hospitals in Southern California (SCAL) experience increased nursing shortage that affect the quality of patient outcomes related to the aging population with acute health problems. The purpose of the qualitative collective case study was to investigate the healthcare leaders’ perceptions on the effects of the nursing shortage on acute care nurses and on patients’ health-related outcomes in two hospitals in SCAL. The research questions include: How do healthcare leaders perceive the effects of the nursing shortage on acute care nurses in two hospitals in SCAL? What are the perspectives of healthcare leaders about the nursing shortage on patients’ care outcomes in two hospitals in SCAL? What strategies, if any, are recommended to improve the nursing shortage in two hospital in SCAL? A nonrandom purposeful sample of 18 healthcare leaders enabled collection of a rich and in-depth data through semi-structured interviews. The main themes that emerged from the study included increasing nursing workload and absenteeism, nurse dissatisfaction, patient dissatisfaction, lack of leadership support, and budget challenges. The recommendations learned from the participants to reduce the nursing shortage included collaborative leadership support, proactive planning, increasing budget and incentives for faculty to train new nurses, flexible schedules, use of technology and available resources to enhance regulatory compliance and communication.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this work to God and my late parents who gave me life and substance. I thank my beloved husband Dr. Adolphus Amadi-Azuogu whose support, understanding, and inspiration has carried me along this academic journey. My darling, I remain grateful and will ever cherish your kind and motivating words to keep me going. I am thankful for my three wonderful children: Ebere, Ikechi, and Chioma, who have been very supportive, understanding, and patient with me during all my struggles. I am also grateful to my siblings, nieces, nephews, professional colleagues, and friends, who have been supportive and encouraged me to keep going, especially during the difficult moments.
Acknowledgements: 
This journey would have been impossible without my past and present facilitators from School of Advanced Studies, University of Phoenix. Each faculty has contributed to this incremental achievement. I am most grateful to Dr. Suzi Mandel whose hard work, patience, and gentle guidance has inspired me to improve my project. Dr. Suzi, I will always remain grateful to you. Also, I appreciate the kind contributions and guidance of my committee members Dr. Nancy Jennings and Dr. Edilberto Raynes, who have been equally fantastic in their direction during this academic journey. Finally, I thank the educational research and leadership team as well as all the study participants from two hospitals in Southern California used for this study. I am grateful, especially to Pam Mcgill, Director of Education, and Rosemary Buttler, Chief Nursing Officer from Riverside Hospital as well as others who were very supportive in this study project.