The purpose of this assignment is to develop a strong, working foundation for your final paper. You will identify a topic area and develop a problem- or issue-related topic within that area of interest. As you develop this specific topic, keep in mind that your eventual goal is to formulate and present a to the healthcare issue or problem you identify. Your topic proposal should include the following items and address the following: Your paper should be 1–2 pages. Adhere to APA Style throughout.

Topic Proposal: Addressing the Impact of Nurse Staffing Levels on Patient Outcomes in Critical Care Settings


Nurse staffing levels have been a recurring concern in healthcare, particularly in critical care settings. This topic proposal aims to explore the impact of nurse staffing levels on patient outcomes in critical care, highlighting the potential consequences of inadequate staffing and the need for effective strategies to address this issue. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the existing literature, identify key gaps, and formulate recommendations to improve nurse staffing levels in critical care settings for optimal patient outcomes.


Critical care units, such as intensive care units (ICUs), play a crucial role in the management of patients with life-threatening conditions. These units are responsible for delivering complex and specialized care, requiring a high level of skilled nursing care to ensure positive patient outcomes. Nurse staffing levels in critical care have been a subject of considerable debate due to their direct impact on patient safety and quality of care. Poor staffing levels have been associated with adverse events, increased mortality rates, longer hospital stays, and higher healthcare costs. Therefore, understanding the relationship between nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes is crucial in improving the overall quality of care provided in critical care settings.

Literature Review

A significant body of literature exists examining the relationship between nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes in critical care. Research studies have utilized various outcome measures, including mortality rates, patient safety indicators, length of stay, and patient satisfaction levels, to evaluate the impact of staffing levels on patient outcomes. Several studies have shown a clear association between inadequate nurse staffing and adverse patient outcomes in critical care settings. For instance, a study conducted by Aiken et al. (2002) found that every additional patient assigned to a nurse was associated with a 7% increase in the likelihood of patient mortality. Similarly, another study by Needleman et al. (2011) revealed that the odds of hospital-acquired infections significantly increased with lower nurse-to-patient ratios in ICUs.

While numerous studies have demonstrated a link between nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes, there are inconsistencies in the findings, highlighting the need for further research. Some studies have reported conflicting results, indicating that the relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcomes may be influenced by various factors, such as nurse experience, education, and hospital characteristics. Therefore, it is crucial to critically analyze the existing literature to identify gaps and limitations that need to be addressed in future research.

Identified Gap

Although multiple studies have explored the impact of nurse staffing levels on patient outcomes in critical care, a comprehensive analysis focusing specifically on critical care units is lacking. Most studies have examined nurse staffing at a broader level, including medical-surgical units or general care settings, neglecting the unique challenges and complexities associated with critical care. Given the distinct requirements of critical care units, it is essential to investigate the specific impact of nurse staffing on patient outcomes in these settings.

Moreover, the majority of existing studies have primarily focused on quantitative analysis, using statistical methods to examine the relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcomes. While these studies provide valuable insights, there is a need for qualitative research to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences and perspectives of both nurses and patients in critical care. Qualitative research can shed light on the intricate complexities surrounding nurse staffing in critical care and provide valuable insights into the strategies that can be implemented to address this issue effectively.

Do you need us to help you on this or any other assignment?

Make an Order Now