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Nurse staffing and patient outcomes: evolution of an international study


Industry-wide health sector reforms in the United States, Canada, and Europe have provided a unique opportunity to examine the effects of hospital restructuring on inpatient nursing care and patient outcomes across an array of settings. Seven interdisciplinary research teams—one each in Alberta, British Columbia, England, Germany, Ontario, Scotland, and the United States—have formed an international consortium whose aim is to study the effects of such restructuring. Each site has enrolled large numbers of hospitals and nurses to explicate the role that organization of nursing care, a target of hospital restructuring, plays in differential patient outcomes. The study seeks to understand more fully the influence of both nurse staffing and the nursing practice environment on patient outcomes. Discussion of the theoretical foundation, study design, and process of developing the study instruments and measures illustrates the process to date, as well as the feasibility of and opportunities inherent in such an international endeavour.



Sochalski J, Estabrooks CA, Humphrey CK. Can J Nurs Res. 1999; 41(1):320-39.