Line authority for nurse staffing and costs for acute inpatient care

Inquiry. 2009 Fall;46(3):339-51. doi: 10.5034/inquiryjrnl_46.03.339.


There is little empirical evidence evaluating the effects of recent, widespread changes in nurse executive roles and nursing management structures on the costs of patient care. This retrospective cross-sectional study examined the relationship between line authority for nurse staffing and patient care costs (total, nursing, and non-nursing cost) using data from 124 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. After controlling for patient, facility, and market characteristics, nursing line authority was significantly associated with lower nursing cost per admission. Our results provide some evidence that a reduction in nursing line authority may adversely impact nursing costs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hospital Bed Capacity / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Administration Research*
  • Nursing Service, Hospital / economics
  • Nursing Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / economics
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / economics
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs / organization & administration