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Consideration for Extra Shifts To Address Nurse Shortage

Nurse shortage has become a perennial challenge for healthcare organizations worldwide. Organizations have adopted different initiatives and strategies to counter this challenge. One popular approach involves offering financial incentives and bonuses to entice and retain nurses. Other approaches include part-time and per diem positions, flexible working schedules, training programs, education sponsorship, and a better working environment. Whereas all these strategies are reasonable, they involve considerable financial outlays and take time to actualize. Therefore, they are not applicable in organizations facing financial constraints or situations where nurses are urgently needed. In such cases, The best compromise is incentivizing nurses to pick up extra shifts. Although extra shifts are the easiest way to address the change process, the change project success levels will hinge upon handling financial considerations and limitations to reap the maximum possible benefits.

Financial Consideration

Numerous financial considerations exist in the change project to convince nurses to take extra shifts. It all boils down to sufficient and sustainable budgetary allocations to sustain financial incentives such as internal contracts and bonuses. The allocations should also be sufficient to cover administrative costs, compensation, and employee training to take up additional shifts. In addition, there is a need to factor in the return on investment (ROI). All costs incurred in the change project must go toward improving organizational efficiency and profitability. In this regard, Worlz et al. (2021) argue that an organization must reap the benefits from the costs incurred in making the project work. In other words, the quest to have nurses take additional shifts must translate into financial benefits for the organization. It cannot simply be sinking money into non-viable projects. In order to achieve this objective, the organization will also need to do a cost-benefit analysis. In line with the previous points, the change project must make sense in terms of profitability. Toward this end, the organization must ensure that budgetary allocations for the project translate into improved patient care, increased staffing levels, and higher nurse retention rates. Hence, the financial consideration must consider sufficient budget allocation, return on equity, and cost-benefit analysis.


The limitations to nurses taking extra shifts include financial constraints and staffing availability. As mentioned, the financial consideration must consider cost-benefit analysis, where Rowthorn and Maciejowski (2020) argue that resources are allocated to the most pressing needs. However, resource scarcity hinders the implementation of critical change projects. In this case, the management must make selective investments to accommodate a stringent budget. Financial constraint implies that only a few projects will see the light of day. The management might have to choose among the proposed elements, such as internal contracts, incentives, and bonuses. The other limitation comes in the form of staffing availability. The change project has made ingenious considerations that will solve the nurse scarcity problem by having the existing employees take up additional shifts. However, it fails to take into consideration the nurses’ situation. Some of these nurses might not be in a position to take extra shifts. It could be because of strained work-life balance, personal commitments, or unwillingness to take extra shifts. Therefore, even though the change project might boast ingenious strategies, it needs to consider personal reasons that might hinder nurses from taking extra shifts. In addition, there is the risk of overworking the nurses who take extra shifts, jeopardizing service delivery. Therefore, the organization needs to ensure the limitations do not hinder change project implementation.


The change process to have nurses take extra shifts will have numerous benefits. The organization can reap maximum benefits from increased staffing and improved retention rate to cost savings and enhanced reputation. The change project can potentially solve the staffing crisis associated with the nurse shortage. Through extra shifts, the organization will have made steps toward increasing staffing levels (Worlz et al., 2021). Employees also stand to enjoy higher satisfaction rates from the program itself and monetary bonuses and incentives. This aspect will directly translate into higher retention rates. Taking extra shifts also comes with cost savings. Hiring temporary nurses requires setting aside budgetary allocation to accommodate the new employees. However, the arrangement to have nurses taking extra shifts come with cost savings. Finally, the organization also stands to benefit from an enhanced reputation. The arrangement will see the firm operate much more effectively and efficiently. These elements will translate into better patient care and customer satisfaction, boosting the organization’s reputation. Hence, the change project makes the organization much more effective in pursuing its mission.


Even though extra shifts are easy to implement, the change process must consider financial considerations and limitations. Solving the nurse shortage challenge will require nurses to take extra shifts in line with demand levels. To actualize this arrangement, the firm will have to make financial considerations. These include making sufficient budgetary allocations while considering return on equity and cost-benefit analysis. The project also comes with limitations, and it will be critical to consider the financial constraints and staffing availability. In the end, the organization stands to enjoy numerous benefits, such as increased staffing levels, cost savings, higher retention rates, and an enhanced organizational reputation. The change project to have nurses take extra shifts will be sufficient in solving the nurse shortage crisis.


Rowthorn, R., & Maciejowski, J. (2020). A cost–benefit analysis of the COVID-19 disease.

Oxford Review of Economic Policy36 (Supplement_1), S38-S55.

Woltz, P., Wheaton, S., Knight, D., & Purdue, K. (2021). An innovative nurse staffing model:

nurses are happy2help and strike the right balance. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 51, 579-586.


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