SWOT Analysis In Nursing: Confronting Challenges For Better Care

PESTLEanalysis Team
PESTLEanalysis Team
SWOT Analysis In Nursing: Confronting Challenges For Better Care
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Discover how SWOT analysis in nursing empowers healthcare professionals to leverage strengths, address weaknesses, and seize opportunities for optimal patient care.

What profession is referred to as the heart of healthcare? It is none other than the nursing profession. You might be surprised why it is called the heart of the healthcare sector. Well, the reasons are quite simple.

Nursing is a profession that requires empathy and expertise. It is an integral part of the healthcare system. Without a proper nursing sector, no healthcare sector can operate.

The nursing profession holds great significance since it focuses on the support, care, and advocacy of families, individuals, and communities to prevent illness and maintain health.

The nurses are also responsible for providing patients with treatment and basic healthcare facilities. Besides that, they also educate patients regarding various diseases and guide them on how to prevent such diseases.

Apparently, it looks as if nurses only consider the patients' physical health. However, that's not true. Nurses also take care of the mental health of the patients. They provide emotional and moral support to the patients, which plays a significant role in their recovery.

Nurses and doctors are equally important in the healthcare sector. If a nurse doesn't examine the patient's condition correctly or implement the rehab plans effectively, it would be impossible for the patient to get well.


Similar to every profession, the nursing profession also has pros and cons. In other words, It does have some strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, there are some opportunities present for nursing. However, on the contrary, there are also some threats that nursing has to face.

You might wonder how one can assess the internal and external factors mentioned above that impact nursing. Well, we have good news for you!

The SWOT analysis is a tool organizations and individuals use to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats faced by an organization, industry, or sector.

A SWOT analysis aims to get a clear picture of the scenario so that an effective strategic plan can be made to promote the strengths, address the weaknesses, avail the opportunities, and mitigate the threats associated with an organization, industry, or sector.

Conducting the SWOT analysis in nursing is essential to understand the internal and external factors that impact nursing. A SWOT analysis of nursing can help hospitals and clinics form strategies to highlight the strengths of nursing and address its weaknesses.

The nursing SWOT analysis will help the administration of hospitals and nursing facilities to improve nursing practices. Moreover, by highlighting the weak areas of nursing, SWOT analysis will help the facilities to allocate the resources effectively to nursing.

Furthermore, the SWOT analysis findings will also help hospitals and clinics mitigate the risks that nursing might face.

Now that we have analyzed what SWOT analysis is and how it can be used to assess the external and internal factors that impact nursing let's proceed further and look at how we can apply the SWOT analysis to nursing.

Applying SWOT Analysis To Nursing

The SWOT analysis of nursing is essential to see what internal and external factors impact nursing. This section will discuss the steps to conduct the SWOT analysis of nursing.

Identifying Nursing Strengths

This section of the SWOT analysis highlights the strengths of nursing. Various strengths of nursing provide it a competitive edge over other professions. For example, nurses possess great clinical knowledge and skills.

Their strength is their ability to assess, treat, and make patients comfortable by providing emotional support. Nurses possess many skills that no other professional possesses. Hence, that's what distinguishes nurses from other professionals.

Other than that, nurses possess compassion and empathy. These are the qualities that help in building trust between nurses and patients. Moreover, the patient outcome is also improved due to these characteristics of nurses.

Furthermore, the communication skills of nurses are always praised. Very few professionals have such great communication skills. The ability of nurses to communicate is considered the strength of nursing. Such communication skills help nurses communicate with patients, families, and healthcare team members.


Recognizing The Weaknesses of Nursing

Like any other profession, nursing has some weaknesses that must be overcome. In this section, we will take a look at the weaknesses of nursing.

One of the weaknesses of nursing is the staff shortage. Whenever there is a staff shortage, the quality of care is compromised. Moreover, the workload of the existing workforce increases. As a result, the stress on nurses increases, and their productivity decreases.

Besides that, another weakness in nursing is that the pressure on nurses is immense due to the stress levels of nurses. Due to the high levels of stress and demanding nature of the job, nurses have low job satisfaction, and burnouts are becoming common.

Other than that, technology gaps are also present. Due to these technology gaps, productivity and efficiency in nursing are falling.

Exploring Nursing Opportunities

Other than highlighting strengths and weaknesses, SWOT analysis also highlights the opportunities present for nursing to grow and excel. Let's take a look at what opportunities are present for nursing.

As technology and innovation are increasing daily, emerging healthcare technologies allow nurses to enhance the patient experience and patient care by adopting technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs). Using EHRs can improve care coordination and reduce the cost for patients.

Moreover, training programs and workshops in nursing can increase the skillset of nurses, making them equipped to take more responsibility and carry out tasks more efficiently.

Furthermore, adopting new treatment modalities can increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Other than that, it can also increase patient outcomes.

Assessing Nursing Threats

The last section of the SWOT analysis highlights the threats that nursing might face from the external environment. There are various threats present in nursing. For example, due to the increasing regulations, nurses would have to be more vigilant while providing the treatment, or they might get sued.

These legal and ethical dilemmas can add pressure to the existing workforce in nursing. Besides that, due to the public health crisis in developing countries, nurses might get overburdened as their workload increases. 

Moreover, the change in healthcare policies in the future can impact nursing negatively. New healthcare policies might discourage nursing. In that case, nursing would be affected adversely.

Now that we have looked into the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in nursing, let's look at the benefits of applying SWOT analysis.

Benefits of SWOT Analysis In Nursing

SWOT analysis is a very beneficial tool in general. However, It has various benefits when it is used in nursing. Some of the benefits of using SWOT analysis in nursing are mentioned below.

Improve Strategic Planning

The use of SWOT analysis enables healthcare organizations to form a strategic plan to focus on the strengths highlighted by the SWOT analysis and address the weaknesses highlighted in the SWOT analysis.

Moreover, it provides an opportunity for healthcare organizations to make a strategy through which the opportunities present for nursing can be availed while the thread can be mitigated.

Enhance Patient Care

Other than that, another advantage of applying SWOT analysis to nursing is that it can improve patient care. Since SWOT analysis highlights the strengths of nursing, health organizations can stick to the strengths. By doing so, the patient care will increase.

Moreover, healthcare organizations can take measures to avail the opportunities identified by the SWOT analysis to enhance patient care.

Better Decision-Making

The SWOT analysis of nursing provides a complete picture of nursing by highlighting the internal and external factors that impact nursing. Knowledge of these factors can help healthcare facilities make informed decisions to mitigate the threats to nursing.

Moreover, prior knowledge of the opportunities present can help healthcare facilities make decisions through which opportunities present for nursing can be availed.


Steps To Conduct A SWOT Analysis In Nursing

Earlier, we have discussed the application and benefits of SWOT analysis. However, this section will discuss the steps to conduct the SWOT analysis in nursing. Four major steps are to be carried out to conduct the SWOT analysis. Let us walk you through those steps.

Gathering Relevant Data

The first step for the SWOT analysis is gathering relevant data regarding the internal and external factors that impact nursing. The data can be collected by reviewing the existing data. Data related to patient outcomes and the performance of nurses can be useful.

Moreover, primary data can be collected by conducting interviews and carrying out surveys with the nursing staff. Primary data can provide insight into the internal factors that impact nursing.

Other than that, data on the external factors that impact nursing has to be collected through secondary sources.

Engaging Nursing Team

This step includes forming a nursing team comprising nurses, healthcare officials, nurse managers, etc. The purpose of this team formation is to have diverse opinions on each matter because diverse opinions increase the comprehensiveness of the analysis.

The team members should give honest opinions to make this analysis effective and implementable. Notes should be taken from the discussions so that everyone's point of view is recorded on the internal and external factors affecting nursing.

Analyzing Findings

Once you are done with the process of data collection, now it's time to analyze the data. In this step, we have to categorize the collected data.

It should be stated clearly whether the data falls in the category of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats. After categorization, it is important to rank them according to their priority.

Formulating Strategies

The last step of conducting the nursing SWOT analysis is to form strategies based on the data collected. Strategies should be formed that focus on polishing the strengths and addressing the weaknesses.

Moreover, strategies should also be formed to avail the nursing opportunities and mitigate the threats.

Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy

Challenges And Considerations

There are several advantages of conducting a SWOT analysis. However, challenges are also present that need to be addressed.

Data Accuracy and Availability

It is important to ensure the data is accurate while collecting the data to conduct the SWOT analysis. Otherwise, the results of the SWOT analysis will be skewed.

Moreover, data availability is also significant, or the SWOT analysis won't show accurate results due to the limitation of data.

Resistance To Change

Once the SWOT analysis is conducted and strategies are formed, the nursing staff and healthcare administrators might refrain from implementing the formed strategies.

Nurses might resist new policies since they worry about how new policies would impact their routines and practices. However, this problem can be solved by developing a consensus among all the major stakeholders.

Maintaining Objectivity

It is essential to maintain objectivity during the process. Otherwise, the results would be affected by personal biases. During the formation of the team of stakeholders, objectivity should be maintained. Otherwise, the contribution from the stakeholders would be pointless.

Similarly, biases should be avoided while collecting the data as well. In case the data collected is not objective, there would be no use in conducting the SWOT analysis.



Nursing is an integral part of the healthcare. Nurses provide care and treatment to patients; without their existence, the healthcare sector cannot function. Looking at the significance of nursing, today we decided to conduct a SWOT analysis of nursing.

In today's article, we discussed applying SWOT analysis in nursing. We shed light on how important it is to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats present in nursing.

After that, we discussed the benefits of nursing. Applying SWOT analysis in nursing improves the process of decision-making. Moreover, it enhances patient care and improves strategic planning.

The SWOT analysis should be conducted in nursing since it provides a snapshot of nursing, so it is easy to form strategies that can help the nurses and improve the experience of patients.

Applying SWOT analysis highlights the weaknesses of nursing timely. It provides an opportunity to overcome these weaknesses and convert them into strengths.

This article also discussed four essential steps to conduct the SWOT analysis smoothly. In the end, we also discussed some factors to be considered while conducting the SWOT analysis in nursing.

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