Some impacts of nursing on acute care hospital outcomes

J Nurs Adm. 1999 Feb;29(2):25-33. doi: 10.1097/00005110-199902000-00008.


Measuring nursing-sensitive patient outcomes using publicly available data provides exciting opportunities for the nursing profession to quantify the patient care impact of staffing changes at individual hospitals and to make comparisons among hospitals with differing staffing patterns. Using data from California and New York, this study tested the feasibility of measuring such outcomes in acute care hospitals and examining relationships between these outcomes and nurse staffing. Nursing intensity weights were used to acuity-adjust the patient data. Both higher nurse staffing and higher proportion of RNs were significantly related to shorter lengths of stay. Lower adverse outcome rates were more consistently related to a higher proportion of RNs.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • California / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Nursing Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / supply & distribution*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*