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Journal Article

Educational levels of hospital nurses and surgical patient mortality.

Aiken LH, Clarke SP, Cheung RB, et al. JAMA. 2003;290:1617-23.

This study examines the relationship between nursing educational levels and patient outcomes using cross-sectional analyses of outcomes data. Investigators studied more than 230,000 general, orthopedic, and vascular surgery patients discharged from 168 Pennsylvania hospitals. Results showed lower mortality rates in hospitals with higher levels of nursing education after adjustment for patient and hospital characteristics, as well as nursing factors. The authors suggest greater emphasis on nursing education, nursing workforce planning, and adequate financing to support these efforts nationally with the ultimate goal of improving patient care.