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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Hospital nurse staffing and patient mortality, emotional exhaustion, and job dissatisfaction.

Halm M, Peterson M, Kandels M, et al. Clinical nurse specialist CNS. 2005;19:241-51; quiz 252-4.

This cross-sectional study aimed to build on a past seminal study that linked nurse staffing ratios with patient mortality. Investigators analyzed more than 2700 surgical patients along with 140 staff nurses before discovering that staffing was not a predictor of mortality or failure to rescue. The authors provide a literature review of this arena and discuss the various patient, nurse, and institution factors that contribute to their analysis. While their findings differ from the seminal study mentioned, several explanations and limitations are noted. This study contained a more experienced and satisfied core of nursing staff that perhaps led to better care but also used a less rigorous risk adjustment model. The authors conclude with a series of implications and future directions to continue to address appropriate nurse staffing and satisfaction as they relate to patient outcomes.