A nurse’s ability to provide optimal patient care is influenced by a variety of factors, not just nurse to patient ratios, this study finds.
In this study of 136 neonatal intensive care nurses caring for 418 infants during 332 12-hour shifts, subjective workload was the one variable that consistently and strongly associated with missed care. Staffing ratios were important, but nurses’ in-the-moment workload judgments mattered as much or more.
The study highlights the importance of considering multiple pressures that nurses experience and developing a broader toolkit of workload strategies that enable high-quality nursing care, the authors say.
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