Friday, October 18, 2013

Nursing Economic$ Journal Feature: Leading Nurse Researcher Cites Importance of Transparency in Nurse Staffing Ratios

The September-October 2013 issue of Nursing Economic$ journal features the first in an insightful interview series with Linda H. Aiken PhD, FAAN, FRCN, RN, a member of the INQRI National Advisory Committee and a Research Manager supporting the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.

The Impact of Research on Staffing: an Interview with Linda Aiken” covers numerous areas of nurse staffing, including the viability of public reporting as an alternative to legislatively-mandated nurse staffing ratios.

“If we had more transparent information on what staffing levels are at hospitals, consumers and nurses could exercise more informed choices in selecting a hospital for care or employment,” Aiken told NursingEconomic$. “Also, easily accessible information on staffing would expose hospitals with particularly poor staffing to increased public and professional scrutiny which would be expected to motivate improvements.”

Aiken also praises the 2013 Safe Nurse Staffing Act, introduced in Congress in April 2013, which proposes public reporting of nurse staffing on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare website.

Other topics covered in the interview include: variations of nurse staffing ratios across the country; inadequate staffing at minority hospitals; the impact of healthcare reform on nurse staffing; and addressing work environment issues. The second part of Aiken’s interview will be featured in the November/December 2013 issue of Nursing Economic$.

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