The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay

The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay

I am currently employed in a medical ICU and a common issue lately has been training and competency of newly hired nurses. There have been disagreements between registered nurses on the unit and management regarding the best employees to hire. The hiring process needs a change, and informatics could assist in that change. Informatics can be a way to organize and utilize data (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017, pp. 7). The hiring process should follow the model of nursing information more closely than it does now. The steps of using nursing information include applying knowledge and acting based on that knowledge (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017, pp. 8-9). There needs to be more data gathering prior to hiring. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay




 One route of data that is easily accessible would be the current nurses on the floor. Some nurses hired are coming from other floors within the same organization. Given the ICU nurses travel to other floors and assist in emergencies, they are able to talk with nurses on other floors and view how they respond in emergency situations. There is a lot of value in someone’s behavior in their everyday work rather than an interview. These opinions, while they should not be a primary deciding factor for a candidate, they should be taken into consideration in an organized manner. One way would be just a survey of anyone who has any current opinions of a candidate based on past experiences with them. These could be placed in a table for the manager to review. A job shadow prior to hire could have similar benefits. Job shadows have been proven to assist the organization in the hiring process (Morrell & Detty-Gin, 2016, p. 45). The management team would need to discuss the goals of the job shadow with the current nurses prior to completing, as well as the potential candidate. A job shadow can give a candidate an idea of what to expect from critical care. There have been 3 candidates this year alone, who have come into our unit, only to decide prior to completing their orientation, that critical care is not what they expected and they resigned. This is a huge loss for the organization and frustrating for nurses precepting. Having that extra time to job shadow prior to committing to hire someone will benefit both sides. The management team can create a template to assist in the goal of a job shadow. This template can be standardized and is another way to gather information to assist in making an informed decision. A job shadow is also a great way to analyze a person’s personality fit for the organization. There is a list of questions asked during the interview, but during a job shadow, nurses can be seen acting more in their element. One review of newly hired nurses found that nurses report being given standardized tests and do not understand their reasoning or receive any feedback related to results (Cupit & Sukal, 2015, p. 45). They state that this is a turn-off in the hiring process. Having a job shadow would decrease that feeling while still being able to assess a person’s fit for a position. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay

 Hiring and job retention is an issue in my current area of employment. Nurses on the floor have felt the hiring process needs to change, since many nurses can tell within one shift if a nurse will be a good fit for our ICU. Using nursing informatics to create a standardized workflow for a job shadow, as well as a standardized way to organize current nurses’ opinions of a candidate would help this situation greatly. 



Cupit, T., & Sukal, M. F. (2015). Does Personality Matter in Nursing?: Assessing Suitability as Well as Eligibility When Hiring. Nurse Leader, 13(4), 44–47.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. 

Morrell, B. L., & Detty-Gin, J. (2016). Bringing clarity to job shadowing. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 47(4), 42–50. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay

Discussion: The Application of Data to Problem-Solving

In the modern era, there are few professions that do not to some extent rely on data. Stockbrokers rely on market data to advise clients on financial matters. Meteorologists rely on weather data to forecast weather conditions, while realtors rely on data to advise on the purchase and sale of property. In these and other cases, data not only helps solve problems, but adds to the practitioner’s and the discipline’s body of knowledge.

Of course, the nursing profession also relies heavily on data. The field of nursing informatics aims to make sure nurses have access to the appropriate date to solve healthcare problems, make decisions in the interest of patients, and add to knowledge.

In this Discussion, you will consider a scenario that would benefit from access to data and how such access could facilitate both problem-solving and knowledge formation. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay

To Prepare:

  • Reflect on the concepts of informatics and knowledge work as presented in the Resources.
  • Consider a hypothetical scenario based on your own healthcare practice or organization that would require or benefit from the access/collection and application of data. Your scenario may involve a patient, staff, or management problem or gap.

By Day 3 of Week 1

Post a description of the focus of your scenario. Describe the data that could be used and how the data might be collected and accessed. What knowledge might be derived from that data? How would a nurse leader use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge from this experience?

By Day 6 of Week 1

Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, asking questions to help clarify the scenario and application of data, or offering additional/alternative ideas for the application of nursing informatics principles. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay

Responding to the Staffing Shortage

Ever since COVID-19 hit back in March there has been a nationwide nursing shortage.  The hospital system I work for has fared no better than the rest of the nation and is still experiencing a daily lack of staff. The ICU I work in, along with the other two ICUs, have been running down an average of 20 critical care nurses a day for months. I receive texts and see daily Facebook posts from management begging nurses to pick up for double pay. It has gotten to the point where double pay doesn’t convince people to come in due to sub-par working conditions. It seems to me that using data and informatics and doing research on potential solutions could be beneficial in addressing this nursing shortage.

Benefit of Informatics

First, there is a lot of negative data associated with a nursing shortage. Research has shown that nursing shortages cause a higher nurse-to-patient ratio which is associated with poor patient outcomes (Lloyd & Ferguson, 2017). Research has also shown that nursing shortages lead to more errors, higher rates of nursing burnout, and a higher percentage of patient mortality and morbidity (Haddan et al., 2020).

Second, informatics and technology can assist us in putting an end to the nursing shortage. Lloyd and Ferguson (2017) recommend using technology and informatics to direct decision making regarding safe staffing ratios. One review showed there are multiple correlations between staffing and factors such as nurse satisfaction, working conditions, safety parameters, turnover, and more (Leary & Punshon, 2019). Lloyd and Ferguson (2017) also found that, “nursing leaders educated in informatics hold the key to addressing staffing challenges” (Lloyd and Ferguson, 2017, p. 212). The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay

While there may not be a perfect answer available to solving the staffing issues that I am seeing at my hospital, it is clear from the research that informatics is going to play part in solving the problem. The answer is definitely not to sit back and offer more pay and hope the problem solves itself. The data I found for this assignment is easily accessible online through databases such as PubMed, NCBI, and BMJ and could be easily accessed by hospital management. Nurse leaders need to be educated on the importance of informatics and data analysis so they can be better prepared to deal with problems like this when they arise. It is clear that there are potentially dangerous outcomes associated with nursing shortages and high nurse-to-patient ratios that cannot be ignored. I am hopeful that this course will give me the tools I need to potentially assist my hospital in providing solutions for the staffing crisis that we are seeing.





Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2020). Nursing Shortage. StatPearls Publishing.

Leary, A., & Punshon, G. (2019). Determining acute nurse staffing: a hermeneutic review of an evolving science. BMJ Open9(3).

Lloyd, J., & Ferguson, S. L. (2017). Innovative Information Technology Solutions: Addressing Current and Emerging Nurse Shortages and Staffing Challenges Worldwide. Nursing Economics35(4), 211–212. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay



Great post,

I can relate a lot to your post. We are also working short ICU nurses for months now. Everyone is getting overworked and burnt out. Do you feel like your issue relates more to high turnover or lack of hiring enough staff? I have found that ours relates more to call-ins due to burn out than anything else, which probably goes back to a hiring issue. We have a system to track errors or breakdown in care. There is a trend in increased breakdown in care when we are not properly staffed. In a survey of nurses completed in 2019 featured in The American Journal of Critical Care, 94% of nurses said they felt quality of patient care decreased due to short staffing (Ely, 2019). This is huge, and should be taken very seriously. Your place of employment may already have a system like this. It is a great use of informatics. These reports are read daily in the house wide management meetings to address where errors were made and how to avoid that again. Your management team may find a better way to staff if they are faced with frequent fall-outs in care due to staffing issues. Another fall-out you may want to include when looking into an informatics system, are the near-misses. A near-miss starts out as an error, but is then recovered by nursing to avoid an adverse event for the patient (Henneman, 2017). These are just as important as the actual errors and fall-outs. I hope you are able to convince your management team to look into some of the differences between how your unit runs when fully staffed vs understaffed and you are able to make some changes. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay


Ely, J. (2019). What nurses say about short-staffing and how it’s harming patient care. Nursing Standard, 34(4), 24–26.

Henneman, E. A. (2017). Recognizing the Ordinary as Extraordinary: Insight Into the “Way We Work” to Improve Patient Safety Outcomes. American Journal of Critical Care, 26(4), 272–277. The Application of Data to Problem-Solving Essay