Addressing the Nurse Shortage to Improve the Quality of Patient Care

Nurses are the largest group of health care professionals providing direct patient care in hospitals, and the quality of care for hospital patients is strongly linked to the performance of nursing staff, according to an Institute of Medicine report. This paper describes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF's) work in nursing, which focuses on improving the hospital work environment to attract and retain high-quality nursing staff, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and outcomes in hospitals. Other organizations' efforts to address the nurse shortage are also explored.