Nurse staffing has received a great deal of attention recently as hospitals have restructured care delivery and modified staffing mix and as nurses have expressed quality-of-care concerns. Using data from the American Hospital Association Annual Hospital Survey, a des- cription of the number of nurses working in hospitals between 1990 and 1996 is presented. Overall hospital staffing and registered nurse staffing increased between 1990 and 1996, whereas licensed practical nurse staffing declined by approximately 14% during the period. The authors identify the need for (a) detailed nurse staffing data across all levels of hospital nursing personnel to facilitate nurse staffing analyses, and (b) more reliable and valid measures of patient acuity to determine nurse staffing in relation to current patient needs. Given the current emphasis on evidence-based practice, a strong foundation is needed for decision making related to the allocation and deployment of nursing staff.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects