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  1. Blouin, Ann Scott PhD, RN, FACHE
  2. Podjasek, Kara BSN, RN, RNC-NIC, CBC


Registered nurses are the backbone of America's health systems, providing care and support to patients across the lifespan. Appropriate nurse staffing is critical to ensure safe and effective care for patients. Nurse staffing is a complex topic; nurse administrators find themselves facing escalating challenges to meet staffing needs. These challenges can be attributed to a variety of factors, both historical and new. This article examines the current factors contributing to nursing shortages, nurse staffing challenges, and the implications of inappropriate staffing on both financial and patient outcomes.