Development of the Hospital Nurse Surveillance Capacity Profile

Res Nurs Health. 2009 Apr;32(2):217-28. doi: 10.1002/nur.20316.


Better patient outcomes are often achieved through effective surveillance, a primary function of nurses. The purpose of this article is to define, operationalize, measure, and evaluate the nurse surveillance capacity of hospitals. Nurse surveillance capacity is defined as the organizational features that enhance or weaken nurse surveillance. It includes a set of registered nurse (staffing, education, expertise, experience) and nurse practice environment characteristics. Empirical referents were extracted from existing survey data from 9,232 nurses in 174 hospitals. Using a ranking methodology, a Hospital Nurse Surveillance Capacity Profile was created for each hospital. Greater nurse surveillance capacity was significantly associated with better quality of care and fewer adverse events. The profile may assist administrators to improve nurse surveillance and patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence* / standards
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Health Facility Environment* / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nurse's Role* / psychology
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Process / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / psychology
  • Organizational Culture
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / organization & administration
  • Pennsylvania
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling* / organization & administration
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / organization & administration
  • Social Support