Benchmark – Staffing Matrix and Reflection

Benchmark – Staffing Matrix and Reflection


Managing Labor

Healthcare organizations operate in highly dynamic environments that require the adoption of responsive interventions to actual and potential market needs. The dynamicity requires that health care organizations utilize their resources efficiently to achieve optimum outcomes. Staffing is one of the critical determinants of success in healthcare. Healthcare organizations should have adequate staffing to meet their service needs to their populations. Nurse leaders and managers utilize different models and tools of staffing to achieve their desired efficiency in their organizations. One of such tools is staffing matrix. Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to examine the importance of staffing matrix and description of the developed staffing matrix.

Importance of Staffing Matrix in my Healthcare Setting

Staffing matrix is a tool that healthcare organizations utilize to determine their staffing needs. Healthcare organizations use the tool to ensure the efficiency in the use of the existing staffing resources to provide optimum care to their patient

s. The proposed 30-bed unit requires a staffing matrix because of several reasons. Firstly, nurse managers use the tool to ensure efficient distribution and use of the staffing resources in their settings. They achieve this by matching the existing staffs with the acuity needs of the patients. For example, nurse managers use the model to match critically ill patients with nurses that are highly skilled and experienced in the department (Penner, 2013). Through it, they regulate the utilization of resources in the unit for the provision of high quality care to the patients.

Staffing matrix also acts as a planning tool for the unit. The nurse managers use it to project the expected resource needs in the unit over a given period and explore ways of financing them. The tool also provides the nurse managers with the opportunities to adjust the staffing needs of the unit based on the volume of patients. As a result, the matrix acts as a tool that the nurse managers use to plan effectively to meet the care needs in the unit. The staffing matrix also guides the implementation of the staffing plan in the unit (Hicks, 2020). Accordingly, the nurse managers use the matrix to determine the ways in which the developed plan is implemented and evaluated for its success. For instance, nurse managers use the tool to evaluate whether the adopted staffing level in a given period led to enhanced care outcomes for the diverse patient populations.

Benchmark  Staffing Matrix and Reflection

The staffing matrix also informs decisions such as those related to hiring additional staffs in the unit. Nurse leaders and human resource personnel utilize the outcomes of the staffing matrix to determine if it addresses the needs of the department efficiently. A need for hiring additional staffs may arise in cases where the staffs in the unit cannot address the care needs of the patients due to low staff to high patient volume. Therefore, the tool acts critical in guiding the decisions to hire additional staffs in such a situation. The last importance of the staffing matrix is that it acts as a tool for use in promoting quality improvement in nursing (Banerjee & Duflo, 2019). For example, nurse managers use the results of the adopted model of staffing to identify areas of opportunities to be explored for efficiency in human resource management, hence, continuous quality improvement in the organization.

Description of the Staffing Matrix

The matrix developed in this assignment is for the 30-bed unit. The matrix has healthcare providers that include nurse assistants, registered nurses and unit coordinator. The healthcare providers will be distributed to work throughout the day and night shifts. The project nurse to patient ratio in the unit is 1:6. The implication is that the unit should have five registered nurses working in both day and night shift. The number of nurse assistants at any given shift will be five and one unit coordinator in each shift. The day shift will run for 12 hours as well as the night shift. Each nurse will be expected to work for 40 hours in a week, to represent 1 FTE. The total number of FTEs that would be needed to execute the daily activities of the unit will be 6.6 FTEs.

Patient acuity in the department is the unit of services and work measurement that was used in developing the staffing matrix. The care needs of the patients at any given time are a critical determinant of the staffing needs. It was assumed that 80% of the patients in the unit will be critically ill, requiring a high number of registered nurses to meet their care needs. The financial management principle of planning for uncertainties was used in the development of the staffing matrix. Accordingly, the matrix is based on the assumption that the care needs of the patients and demands of the department are unpredictable (Mason et al., 2020). As a result, the matrix should gather for the unforeseen needs should the unit experience unexpected high volume of patients with acute needs.

Adjusting the Matrix

The developed matrix was adjusted based on the changes in the patient census in the unit. Accordingly, the nurse manager ensured that the number of staffs at any given shift reflected the patient volume as well as their care needs. The number of registered nurses was increased in case of a high number of patients with acute care needs. The number of registered nurses increased to ensure the efficiency in the provision of care to these patients. On the other hand, the number of licensed practice nurses increased in cases where the unit had a high number of stable patients. The aim was to balance the effect of reduction in the number of registered nurses in the unit. Therefore, patient census affected the adjustment of the staffing matrix.

Making up for the Variance

One of the ways in which I will make up for the variance is by accounting the factors that led to the overuse of the allocated FTEs. Accounting for the reasons that led to the overuse will result in accountability in the department (FAAN, 2021). The other way I will make up for the variance is by matching the care needs of the patients with the staffs. For example, staffs with adept knowledge, skills and experience will be allocated to critically ill patients to minimize resource utilization. Through it, I will still comply with the requirements of ensuring consistency in the provision of high quality, safe and efficient care to patients in the unit.


In summary, adequate staffing is important for enhanced organizational performance. Adequate staffing facilitates efficiency in resource utilization in healthcare. Staffing matrix is an important tool that guides decisions related to staffing in an organization. Nurse Managers and leaders should explore ways of ensuring that the staffing needs in their organizations are adequate to address both actual and potential needs in their markets.




Banerjee, A. V., & Duflo, E. (2019). Good Economics for Hard Times. Public Affairs.

FAAN, B. R., PhD, RN. (2021). Health Care Finance, Economics, and Policy for Nurses, Second Edition: A Foundational Guide. Springer Publishing Company.

Hicks, L. (2020). Economics of Health and Medical Care. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Mason, D. J., Perez, A., McLemore, M. R., & Dickson, E. (2020). Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care—E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Penner, S. J. (2013). Economics and Financial Management for Nurses and Nurse Leaders: Second Edition. Springer Publishing Company.

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