Introduction: One of the strategies for accessing effective nursing care is to design and implement a nursing estimation model. The purpose of this research was to determine barriers in applying models or norms for estimating the size of a hospital’s nursing team.

Methods: This study was conducted from November 2015 to March 2016 among three levels of managers at the Ministry of Health, medical universities, and hospitals in Iran. We carried out a qualitative study using a Colaizzi method. We used semistructured and in-depth interviews by purposive, quota, and snowball sampling of 32 participants (10 informed experts in the area of policymaking in human resources in the Ministry of Health, 10 decision makers in employment and distribution of human resources in treatment and administrative chancellors of Medical Universities, and 12 nursing managers in hospitals). The data were analyzed by Atlas.ti software version 6.0.15.

Results: The following 14 subthemes emerged from data analysis: Lack of specific steward, weakness in attracting stakeholder contributions, lack of authorities trust to the models, lack of mutual interests between stakeholders, shortage of nurses, financial deficit, non-native models, designing models by people unfamiliar with nursing process, lack of attention to the nature of work in each ward, lack of attention to hospital classification, lack of transparency in defining models, reduced nurses available time, increased indirect activity of nurses, and outdated norms. The main themes were inappropriate planning and policymaking in high levels, resource constraints, and poor design of models and lack of updating the model. 

Conclusion: The results of present study indicate that many barriers exist in applying models for estimating the size of a hospital’s nursing team. Therefore, for designing an appropriate nursing staff estimation model and implementing it, in addition to considering the present barriers, identifying the norm required features may positively impact on norm acceptance and implementation.


Keywords: Qualitative Research, Nurse, Hospital, Model
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