The Connection Between Staffing Levels and Effective Diabetes Management in Nursing Homes

We hope you find this Nursing Home Neglect Blog Article both Helpful and Informative.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires consistent and individualized management to prevent serious complications. Nursing homes are responsible for providing care to a large population of elderly individuals with diabetes, which can be challenging without adequate staffing levels.

The Impact of Staffing Levels on Diabetes Management

Inadequate Staffing Leads to Inconsistent Care

Nursing homes with inadequate staffing levels may struggle to provide consistent care to individuals with diabetes. This can lead to missed medication doses, delays in blood sugar monitoring, and inadequate attention to dietary needs. Inconsistent care can result in uncontrolled blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious complications, including diabetic ketoacidosis, neuropathy, and retinopathy.

Adequate Staffing Enables Individualized Care

Individualized care plans are essential for diabetes management in nursing homes. Adequate staffing levels allow for individualized care plans that include consistent blood sugar monitoring, medication administration, and dietary needs. Additionally, adequate staffing allows for education and support for individuals with diabetes, which can lead to improved health outcomes and a higher quality of life.

Challenges to Adequate Staffing in Nursing Homes

Staffing Shortages

Staffing shortages are a significant challenge to providing adequate diabetes management in nursing homes. According to the American Health Care Association, 80% of nursing homes experience staffing shortages. These shortages can lead to increased workloads and burnout for staff, which can result in inadequate care for individuals with diabetes.

A more recent study published within the last 10 years that highlights the impact of staffing levels on nursing home residents’ outcomes is by Thomas et al. (2012). The researchers conducted a longitudinal analysis of the relationship between nursing home staffing levels and the incidence of pressure ulcers, using data from 1,938 nursing homes in the United States. The study found a significant association between higher staffing levels, particularly for RNs, and a reduced likelihood of developing pressure ulcers among residents. This evidence reinforces the importance of maintaining adequate nurse staffing levels in nursing homes to ensure proper care, timely interventions, and prevention of pressure ulcers, ultimately improving the quality of life for the residents in these facilities.

A growing body of evidence highlights the direct link between short staffing in nursing homes and adverse outcomes for residents. A comprehensive study conducted by Harrington et al. (2016) found that nursing homes with lower staffing levels were more likely to have higher incidences of preventable health issues, such as pressure ulcers, infections, and falls. The study analyzed data from over 15,000 nursing homes across the United States and revealed that facilities with higher staffing levels, particularly registered nurses (RNs), were associated with improved resident outcomes.

Lastly, a recent study by Grabowski et al. (2020) also demonstrated a strong connection between nursing home staffing levels and resident outcomes, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers analyzed data from 8,515 nursing homes and found that facilities with lower staffing ratios had significantly higher COVID-19 infection rates and mortality rates among residents. The study also revealed that nursing homes with higher nurse staffing levels experienced fewer infections and better overall infection control practices. These findings emphasize the vital importance of maintaining adequate staffing levels in nursing homes to ensure proper care and safeguard the health of residents, even during extraordinary circumstances.


Although research specifically focusing on staffing in nursing homes and the treatment of diabetes or prevention of complications is limited, a study by Quinn et al. (2012) explored the link between nursing home quality and diabetes care. The study examined data from 599 nursing homes in the United States to evaluate the quality of care for residents with diabetes, as well as the facilities’ staffing levels. The researchers discovered that higher nurse staffing levels were associated with better diabetes management, including improved blood sugar control, reduced hospitalizations, and fewer complications such as infections and amputations.



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Sanga Turnbull

Sanga Turnbull is the founder and principal attorney at The Turnbull Law Firm, a Florida law firm helping personal injury victims in Winter Haven and Orlando recover compensation for harm done to them by the negligence of others. The comprehensive personal injury practice at The Turnbull Firm includes all manner of motor vehicle accidents, nursing home neglect and abuse, slip and fall, workplace and industrial accidents, medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and more. Injury victims or their families are invited to call The Turnbull Firm for a no-cost, confidential consultation about any potential claims they may have.