Nurse Retention Shortens Patient Hospital Stays

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 19th, 2014

Longer nurse tenures result in shorter patient length of stay and better quality of care, according to a study published in the American Economics Journal: Applied Economics.

The study reviewed 900,000 patient admissions over four years in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System. Each one-year increase in nurse tenure was linked to a 1.3 percent decrease in patient length of star. Conversely, adding new nurse team members or losing experienced team members both lengthened patient stays.

patient satisfaction The study also found that paying staff nurses to work overtime instead of hiring temporary staff resulted in lower costs and shorter length of stays.

Researchers concluded the study’s findings should inform healthcare executives of the importance of retaining nursing staff and should affect their policy-making decisions concerning nurse retention and staffing.

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