Efficacy of Using Available Data to Examine Nurse Staffing Ratios and Quality of Care Metrics

Byron Carlisle, Anjali Perera, Sonja E. Stutzman, Shelley Brown-Cleere, Aatika Parwaiz, Daiwai M. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Nurse staffing ratios impact both the quality and safety of care on a particular unit. Most hospitals have access to a large volume of nurse-sensitive outcomes. We hypothesized that these data could be used to explore the impact of changing the nurse-to-patient ratio on patient-reported outcomes, nurse satisfaction scores, and quality of care metrics. METHODS: Retrospective data from hospital resources (eg, Press Ganey reports) were linked to daily staffing records (eg, assignment sheets) in a pre-post study. Before September 2017, the nurse-to-patient ratio was 1:1.75 (pre); afterward, the ratio was reduced to 1:1.5 (post). RESULTS: Press Ganey National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators scores were improved, staffing turnover rates were reduced, and falls were linked to periods of high nurse-to-patient ratios. CONCLUSION: This study shows the efficacy of using readily available metrics to explore for associations between nurse staffing and nurse-sensitive outcomes at the nursing care unit level. This provides a unique perspective to optimize staffing ratios based on personalized (unit-level) metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • neuroscience nursing
  • nurse satisfaction
  • patient outcomes
  • quality outcomes
  • staffing
  • staffing ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical–Surgical


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