Nursing staff happiness dovetails with decreased patient mortality: 6 study findings

New research published in Health Care Management Review reinforces the idea that the satisfaction of a hospital's nursing staff plays an integral role in patient outcomes.

Here are six things to know about the study.

• Researchers at Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania administered a survey to the nursing staff of 550 hospitals in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.
• This included 25 Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California and 56 Magnet hospitals — recognized as great places to work by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
• The survey comprised questions about work environment, education level, job satisfaction and the number of patients treated daily. Researchers also looked at mortality data from participating hospitals.

• Both patient and nurse outcomes were significantly better in KP hospitals and magnet hospitals compared with non-Magnet hospitals. Surveys reflected better work environments, staffing levels and more nurses with higher levels of education.
• Mortality rates in the KP and Magnet hospitals were lower than other hospitals by as much as 20 percent in some instances.
• The researchers attributed this difference in part to nurses reporting when they enjoyed their work environments, they were better at taking care of their patients.

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