[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
Health Agencies Update
June 23/30, 2004

The Necessity of Nurses

JAMA. 2004;291(24):2933. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2933-b

Six studies funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and others indicate that hospitals with lower nurse staffing levels or fewer registered nurses compared with licensed practical nurses or nurses' aides tended to have higher rates of poor patient outcomes than did hospitals with more robust nurse staffing.

Three of the studies found that pneumonia rates are particularly sensitive to nurse staffing levels, defined as the ratio of nurses to patients or nursing hours per patient per day. The largest of the studies found significant associations between lower levels of nurse staffing and higher rates of pneumonia, upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding, cardiac arrest, urinary tract infections, and death from conditions that might have been reversed if they had been treated in time.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview