Impact of Nurse Staffing
on Patient Care
Many recent studies point
to the connection between adequate levels
of registered nurse staffing and safe patient
of nurses is leading cause of medical
"A survey reported
in the December 12th, 2002 issue of the
New England Journal of Medicine found
that 53% of physicians and 65% of the public
cited the shortage of nurses as a leading
cause of medical errors. Overall, 42% of
the public and more then a third of U.S.
doctors reported that they or their family
members have experienced medical errors
in the course of receiving medical care."
few nurses may actually cost more money
given the high costs of replacing burnt
out nurses and caring for patients with
at the University of Pennsylvania determined
that patients who have common surgeries
in hospitals with high nurse-to-patient
ratios have an up to 31% increased chance
of dying. Funded by the National Institute
for Nursing Research, the study found that
every additional patient in an average hospital
nurse's workload increased the risk of death
in surgical patients by 7%. Having too few
nurses may actually cost more money given
the high costs of replacing burnt out nurses
and caring for patients with poor outcomes."
"A report released in August 2002 by
the Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations (JCHAO), the authors
found that a shortage of nurses in America's
hospitals is putting patient lives in danger.
JCAHO examined 1609 hospital reports of
patient deaths and injuries since 1996 and
found that low nursing staff levels were
a contributing factor in 24% of the cases."
"According to a study published in
the New England Journal of Medicine
in May 2002, a higher proportion of nursing
care provided by RNs and a greater number
of hours of care by RNs per day are associated
with better outcomes for hospitalized patients.
This extensive study was conducted by Drs.
Jack Needleman and Peter Buerhaus."