Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcome

Lankshear et al (2005) basically undertook a 2-tier methodology approach which is basically made up of primary data collection and secondary data collection. The secondary data collection was made up of two major components, first of which involved a critical review of existing literature and the other being, policy analysis on nursing staff and patients outcome. The primary data collection involved interviews with key stakeholders in the health care provision in the United States and United Kingdom. Without any doubt, the methodology of the researchers is commendable since it paves way for both qualitative research and quantitative research to be undertaken (Landon et al, 2006). The idea of starting entirely new research was a great idea because it was important to come out with new results and conclusions on the impact of nurse staffing on patients’ outcomes. Kane et al (2007) devised the use of several methodologies to ascertain the relationship between the number of registered nurses dealing with problems like patient falls hospital-related mortality, surgical bleeding, shock, and cardiac arrest and their effectiveness resulting in a number of patients each nurse handled. The methodology involved the review of 28 separate secondary studies which had been conducted from 1990 to 2006. At the end of their research, Kane et al (2007) concluded that there was a link between higher nurse staff and fewer patients’ outcomes. The major critique of the study was, however, the fact that the researchers could not confirm the causality of the link that was established. This totally defeated the aim of their research because the objective of their research had an element of finding the association between the two phenomena. By this objective, it was important that the resultant factors bringing about the association be outlined (Blegen, Goode and Reed, 1998). A very critical area of the research by Unruh (2008) had to do with the impact of hospital nurse staffing on patient outcomes. This means that the researcher set out the aim of going beyond the mere need to draw conclusions as to whether or not there was a relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcome. The aim of the researcher actually entailed an attempt to assess how the relationship affected the delivery of work and this is a step in the right direction. A total of 21 studies that had been conducted since 2002 were analyzed. Judging from the period of study, it would be said that there could be more studies included to make the conclusions drawn from the results more empirical and valid. The researcher, however, had a good cause to limit the number because he wanted to stay within the stipulated delimitation of the research objective. Once the 21 studies were identified, outcome measures, analytical models, and statistical analysis were used to analyze their results as has been presented in the next section.