Nurse staffing levels and nursing outcomes: a Bayesian analysis of Finnish-registered nurse survey data
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Leadership in Context Issue editor: Alistair Hewison
Volume 17, Issue 8, pages 986–993, December 2009
How to Cite
TERVO-HEIKKINEN, T., KIVINIEMI, V., PARTANEN, P. and VEHVILÄINEN-JULKUNEN, K. (2009), Nurse staffing levels and nursing outcomes: a Bayesian analysis of Finnish-registered nurse survey data. Journal of Nursing Management, 17: 986–993. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2009.01020.x
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2009
- Accepted for publication: 27 April 2009
- Bayesian network;
- nurse staffing;
- registered nurse;
Aim The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship between patient-to-registered nurse (RN) ratios and nursing outcomes: job satisfaction and stress, nursing care quality, control of own practise, intent to leave, adequacy of material resources and attitudes towards technical equipment.
Background Although there is a growing body of evidence showing that higher levels of RN staffing are linked to better outcomes, it still is unclear how nurse staffing produces these effects.
Method A survey of data of RNs (n = 854) in 46 inpatient units at five university hospitals in Finland was used to create a Bayesian network (BN) model of connections between the variables.
Results A BN model constructed showed that the quality of nursing care is influenced by multifaceted work environment measures. RNs’ possibility to control their own practice and the quality of care are mediation between patient-to-RN ratio and other variables examined.
Conclusions New insight was given to the complex theme of the nursing practice environment and its connections to nursing outcomes.
Implications for nursing management Work environment should be developed with consideration of many factors, including adequate staffing levels and the ability for nurses to control their own work. This could increase nurses’ work satisfaction, retention and patient care quality outcomes.