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Keywords:

  • nursing;
  • patient safety;
  • pediatrics

Abstract

Despite the estimated 1.8 million children admitted to hospitals annually, little is known about the quality of care and the adequacy of resources in hospitals that care for acutely ill infants and children. Using survey data from 3,819 pediatric nurses working in 498 hospitals, we found that nursing resources vary significantly across different types of hospitals that care for children. Nurses working in a children's hospital within a hospital, and on a pediatric unit in a general hospital were more likely than nurses in freestanding children's hospitals to report inadequate nursing resources. We also found that inadequate nursing resources were associated with surveillance left undone and missed changes in patients’ condition. These findings have implications for the quality and safety of pediatric care.