A newly published study suggestss that hospitals can save lives by hiring more nurses with bachelor’s degrees. University of Pennsylvania researchers Ann Kutney-Lee, Douglas M. Sloane and Linda H. Aiken found that about 500 deaths among general, orthopedic, and vascular surgery patients in Pennsylvania might have been avoided during the 1999-2005 study period if the number of bachelor’s-level nurses had been 10 percentage points higher.
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This area of research is familiar to INQRI grantees Dr. Mary Blegen and Dr. Tom Vaughn, who sought to examine the effects of registered nurse (RN) education by determining whether nurse-sensitive patient outcomes were better in hospitals with a higher proportion of RNs with baccalaureate degrees. The results of the study showed that hospitals with a higher percentage of RNs with baccalaureate or higher degrees had lower congestive heart failure mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue, and postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and shorter length of stay.
Click here to learn more about INQRI and baccalaureate education in nursing and patient outcomes.