NUR 674 Discuss the purpose of conducting an organizational needs assessment

NUR 674 Discuss the purpose of conducting an organizational needs assessment

NUR 674 Discuss the purpose of conducting an organizational needs assessment

A needs assessment is a process used by organizations to determine priorities, make organizational improvements, or allocate resources. It involves determining the needs, or gaps, between where the organization envisions itself in the future and the organization’s current state. You then develop a plan of action to address the needs (or closing the gaps) to bring the organization closer to its desired future state

Exploration and identification: During the first phase of the needs assessment, you need to determine what you already know about your organization’s needs, whether it be additional resources, new technologies, or market expansion. It’s about figuring out where you are and where you want to be. You also need to discover other undisclosed needs that may be hindering you from moving from where you are to where you want to be. You will often rank these needs in order of importance. You will then set the scope of your research. In other words, the needs you are going to focus on.

Data gathering and analysis: At this stage you are collecting the information you need to better understand the gaps (needs) between where you are and where you want to be. Data may be collected from internal company records or externally through market research techniques such as surveys and analysis of secondary data, including statistical data collected by the federal government. After the data is collected, it is organized and analyzed.

Utilization: This is where the data you analyzed is used to create a plan of action and implement it. You will set priorities, evaluate solutions, apply a cost-benefit analysis to determine which solution is best in light of the relative costs and benefits of each, formulate a plan to implement your solution, and then allocate the resources necessary for implementation. Again, the goal is to develop a plan to close the gaps between the organization’s desired future state and its current state.

Evaluation: While many organizations will not evaluate the results of their needs assessment, smart organizations do. You will evaluate the results of the action plan against the results: has the action plan placed you closer to where you want to be? Evaluation can help you determine what made an action plan successful or find the errors in your needs assessment. For example, did you miss an important gap, or were the resources you allocated insufficient to close the gap?

NUR 674 Discuss the purpose of conducting an organizational needs assessment
NUR 674 Discuss the purpose of conducting an organizational needs assessment

On my fist site visit, I observed that there was a great need for Nurse to understand vascular access needs for the patient. This was observed with nurses do not understand exactly what type of device that is present and be able to correlate what the radiologist interpreted on the x-ray. For example, the Radiologist read that the tip of the picc line has been retracted back to the auxilia.  The nurse was not able to understand for this to be true there must be a  excess amount of catheter on the outside of the body. There was none. Not to mention the catheter was mark with the word midline. There for the position read for the tip was correct for the midline not a picc, which the patient has. Also, there is confusion for the nurses to under stat the difference with non-tunneled lines versus tunneled lines.


CDC. (2018). Data collection methods for project evaluation: Observation

An organizational guide to Building Health Services Research Capacity. AHRQ. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2022, from

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Performing an organizational needs assessment assist organizations with meeting today’s complex challenges. According to Hamlin & Russ-Eft (2018), an organizational needs assessment is a vital tool in determining what needs to be done to accomplish organizational goals. Based to the Human Relations Theory, this is achieved by examining the gap that may be present between the organizational goals and the needs of individuals (Hamlin & Russ-Eft, 2018).

It is imperative that health care organizations explore methods that improve and prioritize patient care and safety. One significant issue that needs improving is communication between health care clinicians in the perioperative department. For example, there have been instances where implants or surgical devices were unavailable, but this information was never communicated to Day Surgery or PACU until hours later. Therefore, my practicum project will focus on improving communication through daily safety huddles.  As cited in Franklin et al. (2020), healthcare organizations utilize safety huddles to reduce patient harm, ensure accurate, effective communication between staff, and enhance patient and employee safety. Safety huddles also promote teamwork while contributing to a culture of safety, quality improvement, and high reliability (The Joint Commission, 2017).

With assistance from my preceptor, I will be implementing the plan, do, study and act (PDSA) model. The PDSA is a cyclic model that is utilized to measure and improve the quality of care in healthcare (Connelly, 2021). It is a continuous improvement process that enhances the quality of care by evaluating the results and using feedback in the next cycle to make the process or initiative better (Connelly, 2021). Although simple, I know from past experiences that using the PDSA model is a beneficial tool to use in improving quality processes and systems.


Connelly, L. M. (2021). Using the PDSA Model Correctly. MEDSURG Nursing30(1), 61–64.

Franklin, B. J., Gandhi, T. K., Bates, D. W., Huancahuari, N., Morris, C. A., Pearson, M., Bass, M. B., & Goralnick, E. (2020). Impact of multidisciplinary team huddles on patient safety: A systematic review and proposed taxonomy. BMJ Quality & Safety29(10), 1.2-2.

Hamlin, R. G. & Russ-Eft, D. F. (2018) Evidence-based organizational change and development: organizational understanding, analysis, and evaluation. in Hamlin, R. G., Ellinger, A. D. & Jones, J. (2018) Evidence-based initiatives for organizational change and development. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global, 30-51.

The Joint Commission (2017). Daily safety briefings — A hallmark of high reliability. Quick Safety, 34, 1-3.

I agree with you that a need assessment helps organizations to determine priorities and areas that require improvement. The assessment is significant in allocating resources. Therefore, organizations conduct need assessment frequently to get adequate information. Organizations envision to achieve their admiration within a particular time (Perlman et al., 2021). A needs assessment protects organizations from veering off their goals and objectives. The plan of action develops a strategy for needs evaluation. There are various stages of needs assessment with unique requirements and properties. Exploration and identification phase of the needs assessment help project managers to figure about their current state and what to be achieved in the future (Asbari, 2020). However, perfect need examination demands on the nature of information. Thus, data gathering and analysis is a critical part of needs evaluation and assessment. Nurses should have adequate information on need assessment before they are involved in the process. Incompetent nurses may provide inaccurate information that may misguide the entire process.


Asbari, M. (2020). Is Transformational Leadership Suitable for Future Organizational Needs?. International Journal of Social, Policy and Law1(1), 51-55. DOI:

Perlman, R., Cohen, H., & Hazzan, O. (2021, March). The CS-orona Initiative: Fulfilling the Organizational Needs of Israeli High School Computer Science Teachers during the Corona Pandemic. In Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 732-738).

Needs Assessment

Organizations work to achieve different goals. Despite the differences in their missions and objectives, there is a natural urge to improve over time and deliver the best results. As they work towards achieving the targeted outcomes, organizations should conduct a needs assessment. From an operation dimension, an organizational needs assessment evaluates the current needs or gaps between the organization’s current and envisioned state (Niles, 2019). It helps the organization determine priorities and areas where maximum resources should be allocated to make appropriate improvements. Leaders, staff, and change agents can conduct a needs assessment.

I have identified various needs in my clinical/practicum setting. One of such needs is employee motivation. There are many inadequate employee motivation strategies for enhancing performance. Staff shortage is another area of need that should be addressed. Opportunities for self-care should be improved too. Self-care is vital for improving physical and mental health and well-being (Bernburg et al., 2020). It helps health care professionals to concentrate and make informed decisions. It also improves relationships and leads to better patient care.

I used both observations and the needs assessment matrix to conduct the needs assessment. Observations gather data by natural observation of behaviors and noting physical characteristics of the setting (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018). They can be overt or covert depending on one’s relationship with the other staff. My observation was covert, implying that no one knew about it. The needs assessment matrix analyzes the department, required functions, needs, and current training methods. It can help determine needs such as performance appraisal, diversity and inclusion training, and employee retention. The focus of my project will be the needs that should be addressed to enhance performance. Employee retention, addressing shortage, resilience training, and motivation can help to enhance performance.


Bernburg, M., Groneberg, D., & Mache, S. (2020). Professional training in mental health self-care for nurses starting work in hospital departments. Work67(3), 583-590.

CDC. (2018). Data collection methods for project evaluation: Observation.

Niles, N. J. (2019). Basic concepts of health care human resource management. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Great discussion post. Since it is difficult to continue to reply to the general question for this topic, I am going to piggyback off of your idea about using change agents.

“Every organizational change, whether large or small, requires one or more change agents. A change agent is anyone who has the skill and power to stimulate, facilitate, and coordinate the change effort” (Lunenberg, 2010). It is important to have a change agent so one person is appointed to oversee and guide the change effort. According to Lunenberg (2010), the different types of change agents are outside pressure types, people-change-technology type, analysis-for-the-top type, and organization-development type. Whether internal or external, the change agent must be able to train, consult, and do proper research to ensure that the change plans continue to take place accordingly. It is important to have a leader and guiding team that can contribute knowledge, expertise, experience, and collaboration. The change agent will guide the team through any challenges or mishaps. “Taking the time to prepare for the change creates a clear plan of action and, with input from the team, helps to identify possible risks that can be eliminated or reduced” (Johnson et al., 2017). When everyone has the same understanding and agenda for the change process, it is easier for the plan to take place. One important trait that the team must have is good communication. “Communicating vision for change effectively engages the team and gains trust. Being open and transparent when communicating status updates or changes makes stakeholders feel trusted, and as a result, more committed to the outcomes” (Johnson et al., 2017). A few other characteristics of a good team and leader is determination, ambiguity, empathy, linkage, proximity, structuring, and openness (Lunenberg, 2010). Change is important for any organization to grow and having a strong team is important for a successful change process. 


Lunenberg, F. (2010). Managing change: the role of the change agent. Retrieved September 25, 2021 from

Johnson, B., Johnson, D., Biedenbender, D., Tamimi, H. A., Lowery, J., Kiehne, J., Berwick, K., Horton, K., Steinke, L., Ohs, M., Mangan, M., Elteir, N., Swier, R., Hemmingsen, R., Sujecki, S., Wilson, T., & Kailani, W. (2017, November 28). Guiding a team through change. Change A Leaders Perspective. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from 

In healthcare, staff members play many roles, such as advocates, educators, and coordinators of services to every patient. Ideally, this to be very overwhelming not only for me but as well as other nursing staff members. Many of us in this role have experience compassion fatigue or burnout due to increased responsibilities and emotional demands. Compassion fatigue and burnout significantly impact an individual, such as anxiety, depression, and many more mental or physical health problems. I agree with you that focusing on self-care and being self-aware is vital in healthcare. I believe self-care is part of assessing organizational needs because if the individual providing care is not self-aware, they cannot adequately provide services to others. 

A needs assessment can aid in the identification of present situations as well as desired services or results. It can indicate a program’s strengths and weaknesses in addressing the service demands of persons served. A needs assessment should be objective, and feedback from customers, program personnel, and other critical community stakeholders should be included. The findings of a needs assessment should be incorporated into an organization’s continuing commitment to providing high-quality services and outcomes (SAMHSA, 2019). The findings may be used to assist the organization’s continuing strategic planning and to ensure that program designs and services are appropriate for the people it serves. There are several techniques and approaches for obtaining input and data for a needs assessment. These include employing demographic and publicly accessible data, interviews, and focus groups to gather stakeholder opinion, as well as targeted and focused data collecting via surveys and other measuring methods.

SAMHSA. (2019). How states can conduct a needs assessment.

A needs assessment is a system utilized by groups to decide priorities, make organizational improvements, or allocate resources. It includes figuring out the desires, needs, or gaps, where the employer envisions itself within the destiny and its modern state. Leaders must broaden a course of action to deal with the needs or near the gaps to carry the employer towards its favored future state. Assessing health needs is not a system of paying attention to patients or counting on non-public experience. It is a scientific approach to determining a population’s unmet health and healthcare needs and making adjustments to satisfy those unmet needs. It includes an epidemiological and qualitative method to determine priorities incorporating medical and cost-effectiveness and patients’ perspectives. This method must balance scientific, ethical, and economic concerns of need, that is, what ought to be performed, what may be performed, and what may be afforded (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2022). A healthcare needs evaluation should no longer measure ill health, as this assumes that something should be done to address it. Incorporating the idea of the ability to gain introduces the significance of the effectiveness of health interventions and tries to make clear what advantages are being pursued. Notably, health needs evaluation additionally gives a way of tracking and promoting fairness in the provision and use of health offerings and addressing inequalities in health. The significance of assessing health needs in place of reacting to health needs is extensively recognized, and there are numerous examples of needs assessment in primary and secondary care.

The need assessment I have identified in my clinical setting is unsatisfactory patient experience. The tool that is used to determine this need is the NRC Health Assessment Tool. NRC Health Assessment Tool approaches to the content development are guided by a single objective information that will help the clients tangibly improve the experiences of the people they serve. The purpose of NRC Health is to help our partners know each person’s behaviors, preferences, wants, and needs not as point-in-time insights but as an ongoing relationship (NRC Health, 2022). My project focuses on finding ways to improve overall patient experiences. Three areas with very low scores include nurses’ courtesy/respect, nurses explaining things, and nurses listening carefully. These areas have negatively impacted the overall patient experience. The goal is to create a better experience and proper communication for the patient and hospital staff during the average stay on the short-stay unit. 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2022). An organizational guide to building health services research capacity.

NRC Health. (2022). NRC Health. NRC Health.

“Organizational needs assessment is the process of analyzing an organization’s needs in terms of skill gaps in their workforce, digital upgrading of software and operations, etc.” (Glossary, 2021). Organizational needs assessments enhance the blueprint of detailing where the organization needs a better process for a successful implementation plan. For a proper, successful implementation of initiating change while having all hands-on deck and stakeholder buy-in, an organizational needs assessment should be conducted. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) website (2016), some recommendations for enhancing organizational readiness are: conduct a briefing for senior leaders and key stakeholders to determine what is necessary for a successful implementation, gather enough data to present a compelling rationale for why the change is necessary, identify all the changes that are currently occurring and develop a timeline to implement the change project, determine who is ready and who is not ready to evaluate who is onboard for change and who will need more coaching, and if the level of readiness is not high, then start small to gain support within the organization.

There are plenty of needs/things that my preceptor has been working through. We have identified a few things where more detailed research and intervention could be done. I believe we have decided on a cost vs benefit analysis of deciding whether or not getting a nurse out in the wound care community to assess needs, help with social determinants of health, and prevent admissions/readmissions to the hospital. The tools I utilized were listening in on the needs during meetings, speaking/interviewing some of the stakeholders, brainstorming ideas and plans to decide what is something that could benefit the wound care clientele. I believe the focus comes down to what would the cost vs benefit be of getting a case worker/RN in the outpatient clinic to assist the patients with diabetic foot wounds with their social determinants of health to prevent admissions and readmissions to the hospital.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2016). Tips and Suggestions for Enhancing Organizational Readiness.

Glossary. (2021, March 24). Organizational needs assessment meaning and definition: Define organizational needs assessment. Retrieved June 16, 2022, from,design%20a%20development%20plan%20to%20plug%20those%20gaps.

Timmings, C. Khan, S., Moore, J., Marquez, C., & Straus, S. (2016). Ready, set, change! Development and usability testing of an online readiness for change decision support tool for healthcare organizations.