An overwhelming majority of nurses report having to care for too many patients, and not having enough time to perform their duties efficiently and safely.
The annual survey of nurses in Massachusetts found that the biggest and most significant challenge for registered nurses in providing quality patient care was caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 77% of the nurses admitted that the strain placed on them in having to care for too many patients at a given time, definitely impacted their ability to perform their duties safely.
These challenges could also have serious and life-threatening consequences for patients. Approximately 77% of the registered nurses who participated in the survey admitted that frequent medication errors were the direct result of them caring for too many patients in a single shift. In fact, 72% of the nurses claimed that patient readmission was a very frequent and common result of their caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 64% of the nurses admitted that such unsafe assignments were directly linked to patient injury or harm.