The Effect of Patients' Acuity Level on Nurses Shift Assignment in Jordan: A Qualitative Approach

J Nurs Meas. 2020 Mar 30:JNM-D-18-00101. doi: 10.1891/JNM-D-18-00101. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Matching nursing shift assignment to patients' acuity scores may promote a more equitable and effective workload balance, increasing nurses' satisfaction, and improving quality of care (QoC).

Purpose: This article explores nurses' perspectives about the nursing assignment process after implementing a project to promote an improved nursing assignment process in medical/surgical wards by using Perroca patient acuity tool (PAT).

Design: Qualitative approach was used with two focus group discussions including a total of 13 participants, selected by purposive sampling.

Results: Four main themes were generated from the data. The main study themes were: assignment based on acuity score, challenges and limitation, change journey and participants' suggestions, and recommendations for improving the assignment process.

Conclusions: Implementing the tool will yield better nursing assignments; better nursing and patient outcomes and improve QoC.

Keywords: Nurses' satisfaction; Nursing assignment; Nursing workload; Patient acuity tools; Patient classification systems.