If a hospital wants to increase its nursing staff, it must first consider several factors, including the level of education, specialization, and the number of years in practice of their potential hires. To increase the nursing staff of a hospital while minimizing money spent, the institution should hire nurses with associates degrees and no specialization who just graduated from their respective nursing programs.

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On the other hand, more effective nurses could be obtained if the hospital selects candidates who have achieved a higher level of education, have a specific field of expertise, and have several years of experience. In 2004 study, Mark Stanton reported that “Hospitals with low nurse staffing levels tend to have higher rates of poor patient outcomes such as pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest, and urinary tract infections, according to research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and others” (Stanton, 2004, 1). It is therefore important to develop a cost effective system to hire the highest number of talented nurses for the least amount of money.

According to monster.com, nurse practitioners make a median salary of $83,000 a year while registered nurses make $58,500 (Cowan, 2010). Although these numbers vary based on the locations of the institutions of the workers, the salary ratio holds true. Although nurse practitioners are paid more, it is possible that the hospital can save money using their expertise; since nurse practitioners take on a lot of responsibilities that doctors typically have, a hospital could save more money by hiring this type of nurse as opposed to more doctors.

Ultimately, it is important for a hospital to achieve a proper balance if they wish to hire more nurses but spend as little money as possible. Therefore, hospitals should hire an equal amount of registered nurses and nurse practitioners. If a hospital needs a total of 20 new nurses, 10 registered nurses and 10 nurse practitioners should be hired for a median cost of $1,410,000 in salary costs per year.

  • Cowan, K. (2010). Healthcare Jobs: Education and Nurses’ Salaries. Excelle. Retrieved from
  • Stanton, Mark. (2004). Hospital Nurse Staffing and Quality of Care. Research in Action.
    Retrieved from