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Keywords:

  • length of stay;
  • staffing;
  • outcomes

In rehabilitation nursing, the patient classification systems or acuity models and nurse-staffing ratios are not supported by empirical evidence. Moreover, there are no studies published characterizing nursing hours per patient day, proportion of RN staff, and impact of agency nurses in inpatient rehabilitation settings. The purpose of this prospective observational study was to describe rehabilitation nurse staffing patterns, to validate the impact of rehabilitation nursing on patient outcomes, and to test whether existing patient measures on severity and outcomes in rehabilitation could be used as a proxy for burden of care to predict rehabilitation nurse staffing ceilings and daily nurse staffing requirements. A total of 54 rehabilitation facilities in the United States, stratified by geography, were randomly selected to participate in the study.