Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Aiken and colleagues1 reported that surgical patients had lower mortality
rates and lower rates of death from serious complications (failure-to-rescue
rates) if they received care at hospitals with higher proportions of registered
nurses (RNs) educated at the baccalaureate level or higher. On behalf of the
American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (which represents RNs
in Veterans Affairs medical centers throughout the United States), we do not
think that the authors' methods support their conclusions.
Atkins S, Nygaard J. Relationship Between Patient Mortality and Nurses' Level of Education. JAMA. 2004;291(11):1320-1323. doi:10.1001/jama.291.11.1320-d