Nurse Staffing Levels Make the Difference in Patient Care

Nurse and author Theresa Brown illustrates a critical element of hospital care in The New York Times: the availability or lack of proper nurse staffing. A properly-staffed hospital floor – one with a manageable nurse to patient ratio – allows nurses to fulfill their more mundane responsibilities without sacrificing their role as first responders to patient issues. An improperly-staffed floor, however, will see larger numbers of patient injury and infection. For patients, adequate nurse staffing can make the difference between life and death.

A House bill introduced in April cites research that directly links nurse staffing levels to patient outcomes, in terms of patient satisfaction as well as patient mortality and cost to healthcare providers. Despite nurses comprising a hospital’s largest labor cost subset, hospitals can more than offset the cost by avoiding a number of far more costly “adverse patient events” that may result from low staff levels.

While there is concern that hospitals will balk against potential regulation of this kind, hospital executives by and large are more worried about the quality of patient care than about the cost. Hiring temporary nurses is as costly as employing permanent staff, but it may provide the opportunity to avoid many of the hidden costs associated with permanent employees – especially an estimated 12-13 percent of costs associated with non-productive time.

The need for capable, talented nurses will only continue to rise, and temporary nurse staffing agencies are well poised to expand their business by filling open positions. PRN Funding has the tools to help your staffing agency grow while maintaining a steady cash flow.

Find out more about PRN Funding’s nurse staffing factoring programs.

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