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Nurse Staffing Impacts Quality of Patient Care
Date:5/21/2008

ANA poll reveals serious concerns about quality of care

SILVER SPRING, Md., May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An American Nurses Association poll of registered nurses nationwide reveals their significant concerns over how nurse staffing affects the quality of care, and contributes to the growing nursing shortage. The results highlight the need for adequate nurse staffing critical to the delivery of quality patient care.

The poll of more than ten thousand nurses nationwide shows the nurses' perspective on how staffing levels impact their work environment:

-- 73% of nurses asked don't believe the staffing on their unit or

shift is sufficient.

-- 59.8% of those asked said they knew of someone who left direct care

nursing due to concerns about safe staffing.

-- Of the 51.9% of respondents who are considering leaving their current

position, 46% cite inadequate staffing as the reason.

-- 51.7% of respondents said they thought the quality of nursing care on

their unit has declined in the last year.

-- 48.2% would not feel confident having someone close to them receiving

care in the facility where they work.

"Safe nurse staffing has been linked to more positive patient outcomes, decreased length of hospital stay, and decreased number of medical errors and patient falls. It has also been shown to improve nurse satisfaction and decrease burnout, both significant factors contributing to nurses leaving the profession. It benefits the patient by improving care, the hospital by reducing cost and the nurse by improving the work environment. That is why it's vital to enact legislation that will set safe staffing levels, and why ANA is such a strong advocate for the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act," said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN ,CNOR

The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (S.73/H.R. 4138) is consistent with the ANA's Principles for Nurse Staffing. It holds hospitals accountable for establishing valid, reliable, unit level nurse staffing plans. These plans would be developed in consultation with direct care RNs and be based on each unit's needs and characteristics. Hospitals would also be required to post daily public reports of staffing levels and provide whistleblower protections for RNs and others who might file a complaint about staffing.

To view more results of ANA's Staffing Poll, or to learn more about the issue of safe staffing please visit http://www.safestaffingsaveslives.org/results. The Safe Staffing poll has a margin of error of +/-1.

The ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 2.9 million registered nurses through its 54 constituent member nurses associations. The ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.


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SOURCE American Nurses Association
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