Discussion: Staffing Matrix and Reflection Essay

Discussion: Staffing Matrix and Reflection Essay

Discussion: Staffing Matrix and Reflection Essay

Organizational success depends largely on its staffing. Adequate staffing is essential to ensure optimum service delivery to the clients in need. Nurse leaders and managers have the essential role of utilizing different staffing models to achieve adequate staffing in their organizations. They utilize the models to achieve care outcomes that include safety, quality, and efficiency in the patient care process. The adopted staffing model should address both actual and potential organizational needs. Nurses adjust their staffing needs based on the care acuity needs of their units(Brown et al., 2021). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore staffing in nursing. It explores topics that include the importance of the staffing matrix and describes the developed staffing matrix.


Importance of Staffing Matrix

A staffing matrix is an important tool used in managing human resources in healthcare. One of the benefits of the staffing matrix is that it enables nurse managers to determine the human resource needs for their units at any given time. Nurse Managers use the staffing matrix to allocate efficiently the existing resources to the patients for optimum care outcomes. They compare the care needs in their units and adjust them accordingly based on the available staff. The staffing matrix also promotes resource efficiency in nursing care. Its use enables nurse managers to identify any areas of task duplication and redundancies that may affect the patient care process(Carlisle et al., 2020). As a result, the tool facilitates the streamlining of human resources in healthcare settings.

The staffing matrix is also used for decision-making in healthcare. Managers and human resources personnel use staffing matrix data to make decisions related to hiring new staff to meet the organizational care needs. The staffing matrix enables the identification of increased care needs beyond the available staff in the unit. For example, a high ratio of patients to nurses will imply that patients will receive inadequate care to address their care needs (Riley et al., 2021). Therefore, nurse managers and other institutional stakeholders use the staffing matrix to make decisions related to hiring or laying off some staff based on the existing organizational needs.

The staffing matrix also enables nurses to understand their expected roles and responsibilities in their departments. Accordingly, by assigning their daily routines, nurse managers can have a better understanding of the actual care outcomes achieved by each of the staff in the unit. In addition, nurse managers use the matrix to develop accurate budgetary plans for their departments. The consequence includes the minimization of resource wastages in the department. The staffing matrix also contributes to high quality and safe patient care in the organization. Adequate staffing due to the tool ensures that patient-centered care is offered in the organization. It also eliminates risk factors for poor quality care such as high workload and burnout for its staff. Healthcare practices such as teamwork can also be utilized efficiently in the patient care process with adequate staffing (Li et al., 2021). Therefore, the staffing matrix ensures effective assigning of nurses to patients, leading to improved patient care outcomes in an organization.

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Description of Staffing Matrix

The developed staffing matrix comprises caregivers that include health unit coordinator, nurse assistants, and registered nurses. It also provides the work hours needed for each of the caregivers. The shift of the caregivers will be day and night shifts. Day shifts will have less staff than night shifts due to differences in workload and patients’ care needs. Registered nurses are expected to work for 200 hours, 300 hours for the nurse assistants, and 84 for the health unit coordinators. Each shift will have a health unit coordinator, translating into two health coordinators in a day. The registered nurses will also have their team leaders that will oversee the efficiency in the care coordination process. Each staff will work for a 12-hour shift for three days after which a new team takes over. All the caregivers are expected to work 40 hours a week. The full-time equivalent that would be neededdaily for the unit is 4.2.

The units of measurements and services that were used in developing the matrix are varied. One of them is the workload in the unit. The developed matrix considered the worst and least case scenarios in patient acuity. The other factor is the ratio of nurses to patients in the unit. A high number of patients will increase the number of needed staff and vice versa (Drake, 2020). Principles of finance also informed the development of the matrix. They included the principle of accountability, openness, and stewardship. Accountability ensures that evidence of the resource needs is provided. Openness entails ensuring the trustworthiness of the developed matrix. Stewardship entails the relevance and appropriateness of the allocated unit resources.

Staffing Adjustment

Adjustment of the matrix was done based on patient census. The adjustment was done to ensure efficiency in resource utilization in the unit. The nurses in any given shift reflected the number of patients and their care needs. The number of registered nurses was increased in cases where there were many patients with complex care needs. The aim was to ensure optimum care outcomes for the patients in the unit. Similarly, the number of registered nurses was reduced in the case of a few critically ill patients and more stable patients. In such a situation, the number of licensed nurses was increased to offset the reduction in the number of registered nurses. The adoption of this approach contributed to the efficient utilization of resources for optimum outcomes.

Making Up For The Variance

Making up for the variance is important to ensure resource efficiency and profitability in the department. One of the strategies that I will adopt to make up for the variance is reducing the workforce based on the project market changes. I will lay off some staff with justifications to ensure ethics in organizational practices. The other option will be reducing the hours worked by the staff instead of laying them off. Reducing the hours worked will increase resource utilization in the department(Drake, 2020). The adoption of the above interventions will lower the expenses in the unit to balance the income generated for the organization.


Overall, the staffing matrix is an important tool in healthcare. It facilitates the efficient management of healthcare resources for optimum outcomes. The developed matrix can address the unique needs of the department. Adjustments will be made based on the patient census in the department. A focus will be placed on minimizing any variances that may affect the provision of care to patients in the department.


Brown, H., Carrera, B., & Stanley, L. (2021).Optimizing Nurse Staffing During a Pandemic.The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 52(3), 109–111. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20210216-02

Carlisle, B., Perera, A., Stutzman, S. E., Brown-Cleere, S., Parwaiz, A., & Olson, D. M. (2020).Efficacy of Using Available Data to Examine Nurse Staffing Ratios and Quality of Care Metrics.Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 52(2), 78–83. https://doi.org/10.1097/JNN.0000000000000499

Drake, K. (2020). Staffing during budget cuts.Nursing Management, 51(3), 56. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NUMA.0000654868.04675.61

Li, H., Yang, Y., Xiao, L. D., Wiley, J. A., Chen, H., Liao, L., Hu, H., Peng, L., & Feng, H. (2021). Quality of care in Hunan Province nursing homes: Relationship to staffing and organizational climate.Geriatric Nursing, 42(2), 427–432. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gerinurse.2021.02.011

Riley, Y., Stitt, J., Hill, C. M., Stutzman, S. E., Venkatachalam, A. M., Aguilera, V., &Ifejika, N. L. (2021). Implementation of the MATRIX Staffing Grid Improves Nurse Satisfaction With Rehabilitation Unit Staffing. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 53(4), 183–187. https://doi.org/10.1097/JNN.0000000000000593


The purpose of this assignment is to prepare students to make staffing decisions based on sound financial management principles and compliance guidelines.

Scenario: You are the nurse leader of a 30-bed medical surgical unit and have to account for all staffing, including any discrepancies. Using sound financial management principles, complete the “NUR-621 Topic 8: Staffing Matrix” in the provided Excel template.

After completing the matrix, compose an 1,000-1,250-word reflection answering the following questions:

Why is it important to use a staffing matrix in your health care setting?
Briefly describe your staffing matrix. How many FTEs (full-time equivalent) on the staffing roster are required to cover daily needs? What units of services or work measurement did you use and why? What financial management principles did you use to determine your staffing matrix?
Explain how you adjusted your staffing based on changes in the patient census.
You receive your financial report for the month. You have used more FTEs than what was budgeted for your census. How will you make up the variance? How would you reallocate resources to make up for the variance and still comply with guidelines?
Include two to four peer-reviewed references in your essay, including the textbook.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

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