Effects of hospital downsizing on surviving staff

Nurs Econ. Sep-Oct 1998;16(5):258-62.


In 1993, 27% of 1,147 surveyed hospitals planned to decrease staff size in the next year. This study surveyed 48 vice presidents of nursing in North Carolina hospitals with an average inpatient census over 100 using a 13-item questionnaire in an effort to discover strategies that were helpful in effective downsizing endeavors. Of the 31 (48%) returned questionnaires, 11 (35%) of the VPs reported downsizing in the past 3 years, most of which required the closing of one or more units. The respondents ranked attrition as the most common strategy, followed by relocation, early retirement, a change in skill mix, and layoffs. The most important components in successful downsizing or reorganization efforts were: two-way communication and sufficient planning, as well as seeking and using input from a broad group of staff (using both individual meetings and group forums/discussions).

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication
  • Hospital Restructuring / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Morale
  • North Carolina
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires