To the Editor: Dr Aiken and colleagues1 report on the worsening problems of burnout among
hospital nurses and the resulting lack of safety to patients. Online and external
degree nursing programs may improve recruitment, as would encouraging more
young men to pursue nursing positions. A substantial and immediate salary
increase may also help to bring some nurses back to the bedside. In the meantime,
family members and/or significant others should plan to assist with bedside
care to whatever level they can be successfully trained and are comfortable.
The benefits of everyone helping could improve patient safety and may decrease
some preventable deaths.
Davis D. Nursing Burnout and Patient Safety. JAMA. 2003;289(5):549. doi:10.1001/jama.289.5.549-a