January 17, 2018

Nurse staffing levels tied to patient satisfaction

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

Patients’ satisfaction with hospital care is strongly associated with missed nursing care, which is related to poor nurse staffing and poor work environments, finds this study led by Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia. The study involved surveys of 66, 348 patients and 2,963 nurses in the UK. 

Only 14.1% of respondents who reported there was never or rarely enough nurses on the units rated their care as excellent; whereas, 57.3% who reported there usually were enough nurses rated their care as excellent.

The study also showed that 60.4% of respondents reported there usually were enough nurses to provide their care, and 10.1% said there was never or rarely enough nurses.

Patients value nurses so much that when nurses are in short supply, their confidence in their quality of care and ratings of their hospitals decline sharply, the authors say. The narrative that quality deficits in hospitals in the UK are because of uncaring nurses is not supported by the evidence.



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