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Systematic review: Association between the patient–nurse ratio and nurse outcomes in acute care hospitals

Herlinde Wynendaele (UGent) , Ruben Willems (UGent) and Jeroen Trybou (UGent)
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Abstract
Aims: To evaluate and summarize current evidence on the relationship between the patient–nurse ratio staffing method and nurse employee outcomes. Background: Evidence‐based decision‐making linking nurse staffing with staff‐related outcomes is a much needed research area. Although multiple studies have investigated this phenomenon, the evidence is mixed and fragmented. Evaluation: A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cinahl, Cochrane Library and the ERIC databases. Thirty studies were identified, analysing eight selected key nurse outcomes. Key issue(s): Future research should focus on unit‐level data, incorporate other methodologies and aim for comparability between different types of clinical settings as well as different health care systems. Conclusion: A relationship between the patient–nurse ratio and specific staff‐related outcomes is confirmed by various studies. However, apart from the patient–nurse ratio other variables have to be taken into consideration to ensure quality of care (e.g., skill mix, the work environment and patient acuity). Implications for Nursing Management: Hospital management should pursue the access and use of reliable data so that the validity and generalizability of evidence-based research can be assessed, which in turn can be converted into policy guidelines.
Keywords
health care, nurse outcome, patient–nurse ratio, staffing, work environment

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Wynendaele, Herlinde, Ruben Willems, and Jeroen Trybou. 2019. “Systematic Review: Association Between the Patient–nurse Ratio and Nurse Outcomes in Acute Care Hospitals.” Journal of Nursing Management.
APA
Wynendaele, H., Willems, R., & Trybou, J. (2019). Systematic review: Association between the patient–nurse ratio and nurse outcomes in acute care hospitals. Journal of Nursing Management.
Vancouver
1.
Wynendaele H, Willems R, Trybou J. Systematic review: Association between the patient–nurse ratio and nurse outcomes in acute care hospitals. Journal of Nursing Management. Wiley; 2019;
MLA
Wynendaele, Herlinde, Ruben Willems, and Jeroen Trybou. “Systematic Review: Association Between the Patient–nurse Ratio and Nurse Outcomes in Acute Care Hospitals.” Journal of Nursing Management (2019): n. pag. Print.
@article{8612820,
  abstract     = {Aims: To evaluate and summarize current evidence on the relationship between the patient–nurse ratio staffing method and nurse employee outcomes.
Background: Evidence‐based decision‐making linking nurse staffing with staff‐related outcomes is a much needed research area. Although multiple studies have investigated this phenomenon, the evidence is mixed and fragmented.
Evaluation: A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cinahl, Cochrane Library and the ERIC databases. Thirty studies were identified, analysing eight selected key nurse outcomes.
Key issue(s): Future research should focus on unit‐level data, incorporate other methodologies and aim for comparability between different types of clinical settings as well as different health care systems.
Conclusion: A relationship between the patient–nurse ratio and specific staff‐related outcomes is confirmed by various studies. However, apart from the patient–nurse ratio other variables have to be taken into consideration to ensure quality of care (e.g., skill mix, the work environment and patient acuity).
Implications for Nursing Management: Hospital management should pursue the access and use of reliable data so that the validity and generalizability of evidence-based research can be assessed, which in turn can be converted into policy
guidelines.},
  author       = {Wynendaele, Herlinde and Willems, Ruben and Trybou, Jeroen},
  issn         = {0966-0429},
  journal      = {Journal of Nursing Management},
  keywords     = {health care,nurse outcome,patient–nurse ratio,staffing,work environment},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Wiley},
  title        = {Systematic review: Association between the patient–nurse ratio and nurse outcomes in acute care hospitals},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12764},
  year         = {2019},
}

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