According to a survey of registered nurses (RNs) early in their careers, some work environment factors beyond staffing are associated with nurses’ ratings of the quality of care received by patients, suggesting managers should consider these specific issues to improve care quality.
With the U.S. facing a shortage of 250,000 RNs over the next 15 years and hospitals under increasing financial pressure, institutions must maximize the effectiveness of nursing resources. This study extends prior research into the impact of the nursing workplace on patient care quality, and measures the independent effects of specific factors. Findings are based on responses to a 2007 written survey by a nationally-representative sample of 1,439 RNs (n=2,007; response rate = 68%), initially licensed in 2004 and 2005 and employed in 60 hospitals across the country.
The authors note the assessments of relative impact of workplace factors beyond staffing should help managers evaluate possible improvements since costs and opportunities for change vary greatly among the factors.