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Improving patient care by improving nurses' work environment
Date:11/30/2011

While nurse-to-patient ratios are widely recognized as an important factor in determining the quality of patient care, those ratios are not always easy to change without significant cost and investment of resources. What's more, the projected nursing shortage will make it even more difficult for hospitals to increase nurse staffing. A study published in the current issue of Health Care Management Review indicates that there are other aspects of registered nurses' (RNs) work environments that RNs perceive can also have a significant impact on the quality of care they deliver. In order of influence, those factors are: physical work environment, workgroup cohesion, nurse-physician relations, procedural justice and job satisfaction. Nurses' ratings of patient care quality were also higher in hospitals with Magnet recognition programs, and lower in work settings with greater organizational constraints such as lack of equipment and supplies.

Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN); Christine Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor at NYUCN; Carol Brewer, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor at the School of Nursing, University at Buffalo; Farida Fatehi, BDS, MS, junior research analyst at the New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD); and Daniel Cline, MSN, RN, CRNP, PhD candidate, and the John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity scholar, at NYUCN, were the investigators for the published study. The study is based on a 98-question survey of 1,226 RNs, which is part of RN Work Project, a nationwide, 10-year longitudinal survey of RNs begun in 2006 by Kovner and Brewer, and supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"There has been a great deal of research into the impact of nurse staffing on patient care, but we know that increasing nurse-to-patient ratios isn't always possible," said Djukic. "What we found in our study is that hospital administra
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Contact: Christopher James
christopher.james@nyu.edu
212-998-6876
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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