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Staffing MattersEvery Shift

West, Gordon MHA, BSN, RN, Major, U.S. Army; Patrician, Patricia A. PhD, RN, FAAN, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.); Loan, Lori PhD, RNC, FAAN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: December 2012 - Volume 112 - Issue 12 - p 22–27
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000423501.15523.51
Feature Articles

Overview: Data from the Military Nursing Outcomes Database (MilNOD) project demonstrate that inadequately staffed shifts can increase the likelihood of adverse events, such as falls with injury, medication errors, and needlestick injuries to nurses. Such evidence can be used to show that it takes not only the right number of nursing staff on every shift to ensure safe patient care, but also the right mix of expertise and experience. Based on findings from the MilNOD project, the authors present realistic scenarios of common dilemmas hospitals face in nurse staffing, illustrating the potential hazards for patients and nurses alike.

Inadequately staffed nursing shifts can increase the likelihood of potential hazards for patients and nurses.

Gordon West is a doctoral student at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) Graduate School of Nursing, Bethesda, MD. Patricia A. Patrician is an associate professor and the Banton Endowed Professor in the Department of Community Health, Outcomes, and Systems at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. Lori Loan is chief of the Center for Nursing Science and Clinical Inquiry at the Madigan Healthcare System in Tacoma, WA. Contact author: Gordon West, gordon.west@us.army.mil. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The Military Nursing Outcomes Database project was funded by the TriService Nursing Research Program at the USUHS (Grant N03-P07). The information or conclusions in this article do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred by, the TriService Nursing Research Program, the USUHS, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.