Perspectives on Pay for Performance in Nursing

Issue 12 of the Charting Nursing's Future series looks at key considerations in shaping payment systems to drive better patient care outcomes.

Using payment systems to drive higher quality and lower costs in health care—pay for performance—has gained significant traction among policy-makers and some payers. But pay-for-performance initiatives related to nursing care are just emerging, largely because—while nurses are central to patient safety and quality of care—their work remains invisible to payment systems.

This brief offers the perspectives of leading experts on the challenges and possibilities of pay for performance in nursing. These experts see pay for performance as useful in ensuring higher quality patient care and job satisfaction for nurses, but they also see great risks if it is implemented carelessly or without sufficient nursing input.

This issue of Charting Nursing's Future offers an overview of key barriers, potential starting points, steps to take, and unintended consequences to avoid.