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PICOT Question Paper

PICOT Question Paper

A PICOT question has five components. It identifies a specific patient population, the intervention used in the management of the population, and a comparison to a population that does not receive the intervention. It evaluates the outcome and the time needed to implement the intervention. This paper formulates a PICOT question on the nursing shortage.

PICOT Question

P: Patients receiving surgical nursing care

I: Low nurse-patient ratio

C: High nurse-patient ratio (due to shortage)

O: Improve recovery rates

T: Five months

Question: Among patients receiving surgical nursing care, does a low nurse-patient ratio improve recovery rates compared to a high nurse-patient ratio (due to nursing shortage) over five months?

Patients receiving surgical nursing care require close monitoring to ensure that their condition does not deteriorate. Nurses are actively involved in cleaning surgical wounds, dressing them, and administering medication to prevent infections. They are also involved in identifying surgical wounds with a poor prognosis and working in concert with other healthcare providers to improve treatment outcomes (Needleman & Hassmiller, 2017). The nursing shortage causes high ratios of nurses to patients. Nurses are overwhelmed with the cases, leading to burnouts and decreased productivity (Buerhaus et al., 2017). Decreased productivity is associated with poor recovery rates and prolonged stays at the hospital.

Evidence-Based Solution

The evidence-based solution is increasing the number of nurses. A low ratio of nurses to patients helps to solve the problem of burnout and stress and increases job satisfaction (Zhang et al., 2018). This enables nurses to monitor patients closely. A well-staffed surgical unit with nurses will experience rapid recovery rates among patients. Medication errors are decreased, wounds with a poor prognosis are promptly identified, and alternative interventions are taken. The recommended nurse-to-patient ratio should be less than 1:5.

Nursing Intervention

The shortage of nurses requires an intervention that increases the workforce. Such interventions include increasing the capacity and number of nursing training institutions, providing fellowships to graduates, and retaining them (Marć et al., 2019). This will help to increase the number of nurses and facilitate their recruitment into the workforce.

Patient Care

The quality of patient care is lowered by the problem of nursing shortage. When one nurse is assigned many patients in the surgical unit, they are most likely to experience burnout. The likelihood of medication errors will increase, and this will impair the wound-healing process (Buerhaus et al., 2017). The quality of services such as wound cleaning and dressing will be lower because the nurse has to attend to many patients. Therefore, patient care is lowered in units with nursing shortages compared to those with sufficient staff. Consequently, patient stay at the hospital will be prolonged.

Health Care Agency

The nursing shortage is a problem facing healthcare agencies globally. Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) are working in concert with nations globally to address the problem of nursing shortage. The WHO estimates that in 2030 a global shortage of more than eleven million nurses will be recorded (Marć et al., 2019). To address the problem, the WHO has established policies to guide the training and recruitment of nurses. WHO advocates for the expansion of nursing training facilities globally and the recruitment of all qualified nurses.

Nursing Practice.

The problem of the nursing shortage has impacted nursing practice negatively. It has led to an increase in cases of stress and burnout. Nurses working in understaffed facilities are dissatisfied with their work due to huge workloads. Dissatisfaction has contributed to the reports of nurses quitting their jobs. This compounded the problem of nursing shortage. Decreased productivity, increased incidences of medication errors, and prolonged patient hospital stays have been reported.


Buerhaus, P. I., Skinner, L. E., Auerbach, D. I., & Staiger, D. O. (2017). Four Challenges Facing the Nursing Workforce in the United States. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 8(2), 40–46.

Marć, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzyńska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2019). A nursing shortage – a prospect of global and local policies. International Nursing Review, 66(1), 9–16.

Needleman, J., & Hassmiller, S. (2009). The role of nurses in improving hospital quality and efficiency: Real-world results. Health Affairs, 28(4), 625–634.

Zhang, X., Tai, D., Pforsich, H., & Lin, V. W. (2018). United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast: A Revisit. American Journal of Medical Quality, 33(3), 229–236.


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PICOT Question Paper


Review your problem or issue and the study materials to formulate a PICOT question for your capstone project change proposal. A PICOT question starts with a designated patient population in a particular clinical area and identifies clinical problems or issues that arise from clinical care. The intervention used to address the problem must be a nursing practice intervention. Include a comparison of the nursing intervention to a patient population not currently receiving the nursing intervention, and specify the timeframe needed to implement the change process. Formulate a PICOT question using the PICOT format (provided in the assigned readings) that addresses the clinical nursing problem.

The PICOT question will provide a framework for your capstone project change proposal.

In a paper of 500-750 words, clearly identify the clinical problem and how it can result in a positive patient outcome.

Describe the problem in the PICOT question as it relates to the following:

  • Evidence-based solution

    PICOT Question Paper

    PICOT Question Paper

  • Nursing intervention
  • Patient care
  • Health care agency
  • Nursing practice

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

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