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Keywords:

  • concept analysis;
  • concept derivation;
  • theory building;
  • nurse staffing

Abstract

Many researchers have sought to address the relationship between nursing care and patient outcomes, with inconsistent and contradictory findings. We conducted a concept analysis and concept derivation, basing our work on theoretical and empirical literature, to derive nurse dose as a concept that pulls into a coherent whole disparate variables used in staffing studies. We defined nurse dose as the level of nursing reflected in the purity, amount, frequency, and duration of nursing care needed to produce favorable outcomes. All four parameters of nurse dose used together can facilitate our understanding of how nursing contributes to patient outcomes. Ongoing investigation will help to identify the parameters of nurse dose that have the greatest effect on outcomes. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 31:310–319, 2008