Examining the causal relationship between the quality of nursing care and patient outcomes in acute inpatient units

The Foundation's Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative is designed to provide funding for interdisciplinary studies that address critical gaps in what is known about nursing quality and for the synthesis, translation, and dissemination of results to key stakeholders.This project will test the National Quality Forum-endorsed measures to advance quality nursing research and will design and test other measures as potential indicators of nursing quality. The interdisciplinary team will describe the variation in the data used to collect the National Quality Forum-recommended indicators in a set of hospitals participating in a standardized data collection effort. Controlling for hospital characteristics and patient risk factors, this team will examine the relationships between direct patient care nursing hours and other nurse staffing characteristics (proportion B.S. educated, overtime and contract hours) and the patient outcome indicators. Using an innovative dataset and methodology, this study has the potential for breaking new ground in understanding the relationship between nurse staffing levels and the quality of patient care, about which the current body of literature is inconsistent. This work has the potential to improve hospitals' abilities to measure the quality of nursing care by refining measures to make them valid at the unit level and by incorporating new patient populations into the equation for nurse staffing and quality. Findings from this study are likely to inform the decisions of policy-makers and others who are considering alternative proposals to ease the effects of current and future nursing shortages.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $305,643.00

Awarded on: 8/15/2006

Time frame: 9/1/2006 - 8/31/2008

Grant Number: 58296


University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing

2 Koret Way, N-319X
UCSF Box 0602
San Francisco, 94143-0602


Mary A. Blegen
Project Director