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Shaping the future of Nurse Staffing

staffing.pngThe COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating decades long challenges to ensuring appropriate staffing. This staffing crisis threatens the health and well-being of patients, our nation’s nurses, and the entire health care system.

Driven by the insights of the Nurse Staffing Think Tank, the Partners for Nurse Staffing are working to develop evidence-based, nursing-led solutions that will address the root causes of the staffing crisis.

Because safe nurse staffing saves lives.

Leading organizations coming together

The Nurse Staffing Task Force was formed by the Partners for Nurse Staffing, a collaboration between the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the American Nurses Association, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, Healthcare Financial Management Association, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement to connect nurses and workforce experts interested in driving to solutions to the nurse staffing shortage.

These organizations realize the importance of including diverse voices from across nursing and healthcare. Task Force members include representatives from professional organizations and stakeholders at the national, and state levels that represent the broad spectrum of acute and critical care nursing specialties and practice settings.

Determining a future with safe staffing

The Nurse Staffing Task Force is creating recommendations around appropriate staffing across acute and critical care practice settings.

The purpose of the Task Force is to:

  • Provide a forum for dialogue on a national scale to address critical issues related to the nurse staffing crisis.
  • Facilitate progress toward innovative solutions consistent with appropriate staffing and optimizing patient care.
  • Build the nursing workforce through long-term sustainable recruitment and retention solutions.
  • Support and sustain a healthy work environment which includes guidelines for appropriate staffing that correlates with optimal nurse satisfaction, care outcomes and patient safety.

Further, the Task Force will provide insights from internal and external stakeholders on the impact of staffing challenges on nurses' morale, the work environment, health and wellness of communities they serve and the health system overall.

Addressing staffing is critical

Improved staffing levels benefits both nurses and patients. Nursing care has a direct impact on the overall quality of health care services. With appropriate staffing levels,there are reductions in:

  • mortality rates.
  • length of stay.
  • readmission rates.
  • preventable health care associated injuries and illnesses such as falls, infections, and pressure injuries.

Appropriate staffing levels and skill mix allow nurses to practice to the full extent of their licensure and expertise. This will reduce nurse fatigue. Hospitals will benefit from decreased turnover and subsequent decreases in operating costs. Improved nurse retention also increases the pool of nursing expertise, essential to the care of complex patients.

Read more about the nurse staffing crisis

What's been done so far

To better understand the current state of nurse staffing, the Partners for Nurse Staffing created a think tank to:

  • Review data to understand and analyze root causes of the nursing shortage.
  • Identify all implications that may not have been considered, including nurses and nurse leaders' concerns, palatability of cost scenarios, care delivery models, and other issues.
  • Narrow the options to inform a National Staffing Task Force.
  • Raise questions about issues to assessing feasibility and practicability.
  • Develop actionable strategies that organizations and leaders can implement within a year with measurable outcomes for impact.

The Nurse Staffing Think Tank meet six times. Explore agendas and meeting minutes

Read the Recommendations

In September 2021, ANA called on the Health and Human Services Administration to take concrete action to address the crisis-level nurse staffing shortage. Among ANA's recommendations include actions to ensure the nation's health care delivery system is best equipped to provide quality care, achieve pay equity and full scope of practice for APRNs, and enhance mental health support.

For questions or to stay updated, email

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