The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between nurse staffing ratios and patient outcomes. This investigation studied the relationships among nursing quality indicators of patient care; that is structure, process, and outcome indicators of patient care. The structure, process, and outcome indicators that were measured in this study, suggest that the proportion of Registered Nurses is a critical element in evaluating patient outcomes. As demonstrated in the study results, a higher Nursing Care Hours Per Patient Day at first sight in fact, may represent a lower proportion of Registered Nurses and not necessarily better patient outcomes.
The results demonstrated that adequate nurse staffing and appropriate skill mix is a very important factor to take into consideration when making critical staffing decisions.