Workforce Management

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Principles, Values, Responsibilities
Staffing impacts the ability of all nurses to deliver safe, quality care at every practice level and in all practice settings:

  • Nursing care delivery is multifaceted
  • Appropriate nurse staffing determination is complex1,2

Nurses have a professional duty to be knowledgeable about staffing, its processes and organizational functions, as part of their responsibility to patients. While nurse managers and other leaders may be accountable to their organization for nurse staffing, all nurses are accountable to their patients and profession.3

  • Nurse leaders seek to make appropriate staffing assignments by matching resources to patients based on3:
    • patient care needs
    • staff skill mix
    • education
    • competencies
    • unit variables
    • Much of the process can be automated1

Today, everyone from the CNO to the frontline nurse must understand the relationship between staffing, cost, and patient, staff and organizational outcomes.

There are four phases to the staffing process:


Scheduling and staffing operationalize the budget plan, while the process of improving and adjusting based on this analysis ensures the delivery of safe quality care in a cost effective manner.

Staffing and scheduling systems ease every phase of the process:

  • Systems translate policies, staffing data and evidence into business rules to drive schedule creation
  • Automated systems assist in promoting staff satisfaction surrounding perceptions of fairness for the actual work schedule along with the process used to generate that schedule4
  • Systems facilitate effective communication, active staff participation and increase staff autonomy and satisfaction
  • Systems alert managers of variances and urgent staffing issues, and provide dashboards and reports that help monitor productivity
  • Systems simplify and automate the processes that increase efficiency and provide reliable and valid data to decision-makers across many units/departments and settings