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Nurse to patient ratios in American health care.
Nurs Stand. 2004 Dec 15-2005 Jan 4; 19(14-16):33-7.NS

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Nurses are employed in large numbers throughout health care. When their salary cost is considered as a percentage of total salary cost, they are arguably the most costly group of employees. Healthcare facilities have the potential to achieve large financial savings by reducing the number of nurses they employ. However, this may have negative consequences for staff, patients and the organisation as a whole.

CONCLUSION

Research has shown that by reducing the number of nurses, patient outcomes deteriorate and length of stay increases. Curtailing nurse staffing levels can also lead to poor staff morale, nurse retention and recruitment problems and malpractice suits, which can raise costs far above the expense of employing more nurses. By reducing nurse to patient ratios, that is, by reducing the number of patients (see nurse to patient ratio box opposite), it is probable that patient care will improve along with patient satisfaction, poor morale will dissipate, fewer lawsuits will be filed and agency nurse use will decrease, all of which will help to reduce hospital costs in the long-term.

Authors+Show Affiliations

ICU and Step-Down Unit, Richmond Heights Hospital, Ohio, USA. sharon.garretson@uhhs.con

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15633873

Citation

Garretson, Sharon. "Nurse to Patient Ratios in American Health Care." Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987), vol. 19, no. 14-16, 2005, pp. 33-7.
Garretson S. Nurse to patient ratios in American health care. Nurs Stand. 2005;19(14-16):33-7.
Garretson, S. (2005). Nurse to patient ratios in American health care. Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987), 19(14-16), 33-7.
Garretson S. Nurse to Patient Ratios in American Health Care. Nurs Stand. 2004 Dec 15-2005 Jan 4;19(14-16):33-7. PubMed PMID: 15633873.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Nurse to patient ratios in American health care. A1 - Garretson,Sharon, PY - 2005/1/7/pubmed PY - 2005/2/3/medline PY - 2005/1/7/entrez SP - 33 EP - 7 JF - Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987) JO - Nurs Stand VL - 19 IS - 14-16 N2 - BACKGROUND: Nurses are employed in large numbers throughout health care. When their salary cost is considered as a percentage of total salary cost, they are arguably the most costly group of employees. Healthcare facilities have the potential to achieve large financial savings by reducing the number of nurses they employ. However, this may have negative consequences for staff, patients and the organisation as a whole. CONCLUSION: Research has shown that by reducing the number of nurses, patient outcomes deteriorate and length of stay increases. Curtailing nurse staffing levels can also lead to poor staff morale, nurse retention and recruitment problems and malpractice suits, which can raise costs far above the expense of employing more nurses. By reducing nurse to patient ratios, that is, by reducing the number of patients (see nurse to patient ratio box opposite), it is probable that patient care will improve along with patient satisfaction, poor morale will dissipate, fewer lawsuits will be filed and agency nurse use will decrease, all of which will help to reduce hospital costs in the long-term. SN - 0029-6570 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15633873/Nurse_to_patient_ratios_in_American_health_care_ L2 - http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&PAGE=linkout&SEARCH=15633873.ui DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -