The psychometric assessment of a new measure of nursing intensity, The Patient Intensity for Nursing Index (PINI) is reported. Four dimensions of nursing intensity are measured by the PINI: (a) severity of illness, (b) dependency, (c) complexity of care, and (d) time. There are 10 items rated on a 5-point ordinal scale. A purposively drawn sample of 6,445 patients was obtained from five hospitals, with 487 registered nurses (RNs) providing daily patient ratings from 29 medical—surgical and intensive care units.
Substantial interrater reliability was demonstrated. Validity testing included confirmatory factor analysis, hypothesis-testing, contrasted groups, and an observational study of time. The factor structure confirmed specified components of severity, dependency, and complexity, with time loading on all three factors. PINI scores were significantly related to medical severity of illness, length of hospital stay, disposition at discharge, number of secondary medical diagnoses and specialty consults, and scores on three different hospital classification systems used for staffing. PINI scores were significantly different for high-and low-intensity DRGs. Observed time spent delivering nursing care to specific patients was significantly correlated with nurse estimates of time.