The Effects of Nurse Staffing and Environment on Patient Safety

The nationwide nursing shortage and other factors have left many facilities with fewer
registered nurses. By 2020, the number of hospital nursing vacancies is expected to
reach 800,000. Experts worry that this staffing shortage will lead to a more dangerous
environment for patients. Numerous studies have found that short-staffed hospital units
are more likely to have higher rates of hospital acquired illnesses (e.g. pneumonia,
gastrointestinal bleeding) which lead to longer lengths of stay and added costs to the
health care system.

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