The contribution of nursing to high-value inpatient care

Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2010 Feb;11(1):36-61. doi: 10.1177/1527154410371381.


Reports of suboptimal health care quality and rising expenditures have led payers to institute policies intended to improve outcomes and lower costs. Referred to as value--driven health care, these policies have multiplied in recent years. Despite their appeal, nursing--the nation's single largest provider of health care-has largely been excluded from these policy directions. This article describes the nature of the evidence substantiating nursing's contribution to quality and cost and explores the reasons--scientific, economic, societal, and political--that these contributions have been largely ignored in the formulation of federal policy. Recommendations are made to strengthen the nurse-value case and convince health care stakeholders, including policy makers, that the relationship is established, enduring, and sufficient for national action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Cost Control
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Health Care Reform*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Patient Care Management / economics
  • Patient Care Management / organization & administration*
  • Policy Making
  • Quality of Health Care / economics
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • United States